This week, our family got news that personally is kinda hard to grasp but we must work with the hand we're dealt with.
We found out that my sweet little niece Kensie (Stephenie's daughter) has been diagnosed as being "mid-functioning" autistic. It's really hard to fully explain, but I'll do my best. She does know who her family is (me, her Mom, her natural dad, "Daddy Josh", her Me-Me and Pop Pop, "Uncie" Jeremy, etc)...it's just that on the educational side is what is giving her the most challenge.
Onion Peel time: It's rare that I do this, but what we're about to face with Kensie reminds me of some challenges I had to deal with early in my educational journey. Those who grew up with me here in Clinton may know that for a time, I had to be in special learning disability classes and back in the early 1980's (yes I am dating myself) they didn't have much in the way of testing as they do today. It was there that I had a terrific teacher named then Nancy Paoli (she's known as Nancy Spencer today). If it wasn't for her and for her assistant Marsha Taylor (who's now in Heaven), I don't think I would be where I am today. In the age of Common Core, "No Child Left Behind", it's rare that you have teachers that actually care about your students like what I had when I was growing up.
It would be a "cop out" to give her and her family a mini-pharmacy and deal with it that way. It would be another cop out to treat it like another battle in spiritual warfare (and long time friends of ours from the "old church" will know what I am getting at) -- pretending that autism is just another weapon the devil likes to use. I'm glad I'm not in those circles anymore. It's one thing to go all Gung-Ho, Rambo "I ain't got time to bleed", but it's a totally different thing to go "OK, here's what we're dealing with, let's develop a plan of action, let's work on the areas we know we can do ourselves and ask God to help us in areas that we need help with concerning this." Isn't that a little more civil than going at it with machetes, nunchucks, Kendo sticks and God knows whatever else?
So anyway...yeah, we have quite a long journey ahead of us with Kensie. And we need all the prayers and support that we can give and get.
That is it for now. Until next time...