I have a blessing I'd like to share with you. :)
My son Ryan was diagnosed with autism at a young age. Ryan is 21 years old now, so this was before most anybody had ever heard if autism. Ryan is my only child and also the 1st grandchild, so he didn't have family, friends or peers his age to help him like some others did. God had impressed on me to begin to pray and believe for Ryan's complete restoration and healing.
At the time we were attending a Methodist church and had never heard of such things. Who knew that God could heal today? That healing stuff was just stories in the bible right? Does God heal today? What does restoration mean? Wierd! But the impression was so strong, it became very important to me. Besides, when you see your child suffering, you will do and try anything to help, am I right? So I began to pray... I prayed for years and couldn't see any change. I thought God would just snap His fingers and it would be done, it didn't happen that way. Although God does heal that way, that's not the way it happened for us.
Sometimes, when we are in the middle of a battle it's hard to step back, see the whole picture and realize what's really happening. There was a time I almost gave up praying... as I pondered this, God sent a lady into the christian bookstore where I worked. She walked straight up to me and shouted "Don't you ever give up on praying and believing for someone! More things are wrought by prayer than this world knows of!" then she walked straight out the door. I had never seen her before or since. (Gee, think that was an angel or what?) Needless to say this freaked me out, but it also did something in my heart, and a resolve came that I would NEVER give up on prayer.
During this time, Ryan was constantly being tested for this or that, always going to doctor's, this specialist, that mental health, or let's try this new thing that is supposed to help, let's try these drugs, maybe it's his diet, or allergies... To add to the problems, Ryan's dad was very abusive and we were divorced when Ryan was 7. During high school it was so bad (he had been suicidal since 5th grade) that his psychiatrist actually went to school with him 3 days a week, every week for almost a year.
I cannot express the grief and suffering this caused the whole family. Since Ryan never had any real friends, his counselor suggested I start inviting kids to the house. So we began having a monthly, overnight video game playing, pizza eating bash. It started with only 1 friend, and grew to 5 boys whom I now consider to be my boys to pray for. The school district would not provide any services for Ryan because his diagnosis kept changing.
The boys told me many of the teachers abuse to Ryan that I didn't even know about, and Ryan was unable to tell me. We had some great teachers and some not so great. One teacher made him sit inside a washing machine box, a whole box, the lid on it and everything. She cut a door that she would close after Ryan was inside. She put his desk inside and made him sit there all day long, everyday during 2nd grade. He was made to eat lunch in his box and not allowed to go to recess, he had to sit in the box.
Ryan's acting out to this injustice was to glue all the teacher's scissors together so they wouldn't open! LOL I didn't know about this till Ryan was in 10th grade! I'm glad I didn't know, because at the time, I would have killed someone! Every year something would happen and we would be sent for more testing. Every time this happened, his diagnosis would change. Stepping back and looking at it now, I see the hand of God.
The reason we had to keep going for more testing, the reason the diagnosis kept changing, was because God was doing a progressing healing. Every diagnosis was a step away from autism, or a lesser degree of autism. Seven years ago, results were PDDNOS (pervasive development disorder not otherwise specified) which in plain English means: they didn't know what was going on and didn't have a label to put on him! GLORY TO GOD! Then it changed to "communication disorder + anxiety". When Ryan was a senior in high school, his "shrink" told us that there was nothing more they can do for Ryan, that it was rare for someone with the problems Ryan had been diagnosed with to "graduate" from mental health. But he did, we had a ceremony and everything! Glory to God!!!!
It is amazing to me that God took a child that at age 6-7 was still in diapers, non communicative, and would sit in the corner by himself, slobber and not interact, to someone who is a beautiful living testimony of what God can do if we only believe. GOD IS SOOOOOO GOOD TO US!
Today Ryan is off all medication, living a normal life, and has his drivers license, which we never even believed was possible! He loves his job at McDonald's and insists on paying his own way through college. He wants to study electronic communications, media, computer programming, ya know computer geek stuff. Who would have ever thought? God did. Even when I didn't, God did!
Ryan has his own apartment, car, and is a tight wad with his money. Except for the African girl he adopted through Compassion International. ...well, and computer stuff. LOL It's exciting to see the common thread of communication that has been running throughout his life. Ryan wrote, illustrated, and bound a book all on his own at the age of 4. Currently he's making video games, he says it grieves him to see his friends minds taken over by things that expose them to witchcraft, demons etc. so he is making alternatives that will be just as cool but with the Holy Spirit as your guide and not a demon. GLORY!
Ryan talks like everyone else does now, but he still struggles with expressing his feelings. We know this is only temporary! God will complete the work He started! Sometimes Ryan communicates through music. He says music speaks to him or for him. I understand this, because music speaks to me too. Sometimes when he struggles he will find a song for me to listen to so we can know how he feels. :)
Last week, I suggested Ryan read the testimonies on Praying Medic's web page. He is very encouraged and excited about what God is doing with common people. Ryan decided he would make a mini-video set to christian music for Praying Medic of what Ryan interprets goes on in the life of someone who will believe for healing for others. It'll be posted on Youtube. If you don't have Praying Medic as a friend on Facebook I encourage you to check him out. PM has a web page filled with testimonies and miracles to encourage and uplift! As Ryan was making the video he told me about a "glitch" that happened. He was taking video from a game and spicing it with other scenes. This part in particular had an ambulance and medic. He sent the medic to pick up a casualty. When the medic got to the person, they suddenly stood up and was a living person! LOL God is so cool! The video is not ready yet, but when it is, I will share it.
Thank you for taking the time to read our story. Autism is diagnosed 1 in 165 children today. Please feel free to share our story with others who may need some encouragement. My prayer is that you are encouraged, uplifted, and excited at what GOD CAN DO! ....it's all for HIS GLORY!