Sunday, September 13, 2009

Was the Sun Shining Just a Little Bit Brighter Today!!

Today was the first day of Sunday school. I know most parents send their children and never think twice, never get nervous or actually feel sick to their stomach. But most parents don't have a Sam. Most parents don't worry if their 8 year old child is going to go into a complete melt down upon entering the room, they don't worry about the infamous stop, drop and plop that many children with Down syndrome seem to excel at. They aren't worrying about how the other children will look at their child or if their child will be able to follow what the teacher is saying. Most parents don't have to worry if a teacher will know how to deal with their child's lack of communication or what to do when he utters his ever favorite word, "NO". Most parents are not fighting an internal battle of "is this a good idea or not, is he ready??" They don't have to worry if the teacher will be able to look past the disabilities and see and involve the child.

Sam began coming to church 8 years ago sitting in his car seat. As he got older we switched to a stroller because containment was still crucial. We brought books and snacks to help him make it through the hour or so (depending on Pastor's sermon that day). We slowly transitioned Sam to sitting with the rest of us. Sunday school and confirmation classes were the next hurdles.

But that's only what our church and the outside world saw. They didn't see us change Sam's diet to SCD so we could curb some of his behavior issues and help with his overall health. They didn't know that Sam was in that stroller for containment but also because it took him over 3 years to learn how to walk due to his brain injury. They don't realize that Sam is just beginning to hear correctly, after living with a hearing loss for many years. Most of the world doesn't know about Sam's NACD program or the hours of one on one input we have provided to help correct his issues with apraxia, his brain injury, his auditory processing and his behavior. No those things are not evident to the outside world.

But today....the sun was shining just a little bit brighter, the moon was in the right phase, the stars aligned perfectly. How do I know this...because today Sam walked into Sunday school and he listened, he participated and he walked out excited that he "Did it!" Now that doesn't mean he didn't feel the need to voice his ever favorite "NO" and that he didn't test the waters but with a little redirection...he did it.

If felt good to stand with the other parents as one of them. As for Sam's teacher, his helper, our pastor and our church family they have always fully embraced Sam as a member of our church. I don't forget for a moment the stories I have read about many churches indifference to children with special needs. I pray each day for my church, my pastor and my church family and I thank God that they have opened their hearts and their minds to allow a little boy with so many challenges to succeed, to accomplish what to most parents isn't even viewed as a hurdle.

It is days like this that we celebrate Sam. His proud smile and excited exclamation of "I did it" will live in my heart for a very long time. Thank you Lord!


  1. I enjoyed reading your post and felt exactly the same way. My daughter Karra is 8 years old and it is so nice to see her being accepted in Sunday School. Thanks Again


  2. What a beautiful blog! Found you from Einstein. Keep up the good work!

  3. God Bless you, Sam, and your family.

  4. Thank you so much for your writings. I am sitting here trying to get myself motivated to do some therapy with my son. I am also in the throes of struggling with the hassle of the SCD Diet and if it's worth it. I also have two other children with learning disabilities and am very overwhelmed most.

    Would you write a post in the future about how you've made the SCD work for your family? What are his favorites? What saves your sanity?

    Thanks so much and God bless!