© 1996-2002 by Jill Bond, all rights reserved (I will be updating this article soon. Please know that some of the information is out-of-date, but the heart-felt realities of our journey are very real.)

Questions addressed in this article

Do you have currriculum for autistic children? · What qualifies you to teach Trent? · What about "professional" help? · What about the finances? · What about this hyperbaric chamber stuff? · What is PREACCH?
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Beloved,

Trent isn't broken. Not in the sense that he needs to be fixed. Trent is whole. He is a beautiful, whole person. Unique and made in God's image.

It's just that his mind works at a different pace than my mind. He paints his world from a slightly different palette than his brothers. He listens to things his sister will never be able to hear. He finds joy in things that his father misses.

The world labels him as disabled with autism.
I think he's enabled by God. So, my friends I invite you to read my mail. Here is one of my love letters to my son, Trent and also to my Lord.

My Beau-beau,


I know you hear me say it every day, but I really mean it. "How'd you get to be so lovable? Did God ever make any one easier to love?" Yes, and then we snuggle and press face.

I'm writing to you today, sweetheart, believing that some day you'll be able to read this. You are so smart, so very smart. Daddy and I are trying to open the world of words for you. You already know your letters, don't you.

Every day for almost a year I'd work with you on recognizing your letters. Your favorite way was when I'd take the brightly colored sheet from your Touch 'n Tell game, move your finger to each letter and I'd say the word, just as if we were using the electronic base. You didn't like the computerized voice, so we just did the touch part on paper and I'd do the 'n Tell. I wondered and wondered if I was wasting my time.
When we'd go through the routine, I was certain you were visiting another galaxy while I was doing it all. But I'd pray to God and ask for patience, and God would supply. Yet, my sweet, you know how weak Mommy is. I'd get tired and forget to do it some times with you. But we worked. Then when I was wondering about the wisdom of forcing you through this exercise, one night, one glorious night . . . I started to put the card away and unlike every other night, this time you reached for it and pulled me back down to sit. You looked at me and took my hand and made a finger. You made my hand, just as I had made yours, point to each letter and you said, "g, r, i, t, l, z ...." You said everyone of them perfectly and in random order, not by rout sequence. It was the first time you had voiced any letter or even actively participated.
The first time you gave me any response, and you gave it to me 100%. You're an amazing little boy, Trent. The Lord worked through you to teach me that night. I learned that many times our work seems futile to us. I had "nobly" felt like Noah toiling on his ark for years without any converts to show for it, and yet, the Lord was working His work all along, and the floods came all at once. So often, my love, you are the same way. We work and work and it seems we get nowhere, and then, like a mighty switch, it comes flooding out.

So, yes, you'll read some day. And if I know you, you'll seemingly jump overnight from "Look, look," to the encyclopedia. We're praying for that "night." Because there is this book I want you to read that means all the world to me - it's the B-i-b-l-e.

I want more than anything in the world for you to know God. Yet, sweetheart, I feel you know Him more than I do even now. Sometimes you see things so much more clearly than I do. It's as if God has removed many of the burdens of this world from you so that you can respond to Him more readily and surely.

God loves us so much, Trent. It is awesome. It boggles my mind to think that God, the creator of the universe, Almighty God, would care about you and me. And yet, He does. In big ways, like making gravity and oxygen, and in little ways, like making you blonde and preparing our hearts.

When God was still forming you in my womb, He was preparing my heart for you. I can't put my finger on it, but somehow I knew you'd be such a special blessing. Your delivery was extraordinary. You tried so many times to greet us. Six weeks before your due date you gave us the first sign, the plug from my world to yours opened. Our doctor was so sure that you'd come early, she told us "any day now." Magah and Papa drove in for the big event. But you stayed tight. Then about two weeks later labor started. Since you are my third son, I knew real labor, and once the contractions became serious, we headed to the hospital.
We made progress and then it stopped. I went home to wait. You waited for several more weeks and we went through the whole process again. Waiting again. The doctor was concerned and scheduled a C-section on your "due date."

That day, September 20, 1988, as Daddy was getting ready to go to work, I felt ill. I made it to the bathroom, but passed out. It was scary for us. I was hemorrhaging and the pain was indescribable. Your father tried to rush me to the hospital, but we got caught by the longest train in American history. To this day I'm convinced it had more than a trillion cars. As each car rolled slowly by, I pleaded with God to protect you.
We made it to the hospital and you delivered "normally." I braced myself, knowing the trauma you'd been through - part of the placenta delivered before you did. Darling, that isn't the way it's supposed to be. But almost instantly, I held you and you were so gorgeous. You checked out and, God be praised, you were perfect. You even recognized Daddy on your first day.

I quickly forgot all the "foreboding" I had had about you being a special-needs child. I must have misread the signs because you were turning into a wonder-child. You turned your head at day one, focused your eyes on day three, rolled over on day seven, turned to sound on day eight and smiled before one month. In fact, you had checked-off on all the developmental hurdles of a seven-month old by the time you were only two months old. You slept through the night at one month. No mother ever had a sweeter child, except Mary. You continued to develop wonderfully, speaking, running - all was going well.

When you sister was born, you were almost two years old and we had started to see some lack of development, or rather some slow down in your developmental racing. We attributed it to the lack of work I could do with you during that pregnancy. When sister was born, I became very sick and almost went home to Jesus.
Once I was released from the hospital, I was bed-ridden with hundreds of blood clots and destined to live from a wheel-chair. My situation was so critical that I wasn't able to hold you for days and you needed me. It took so long to get better and I felt you suffered so. At age two, most children need minute-by-minute-mommies to answer all your ten thousand questions. I wasn't there for you. So, when you started losing language and started acting oddly I thought it was me, or rather a lack of me.

As soon as I was well, I'd make up for the year "the locust had eaten" and do triple duty with you. You'd regain it all back and then some. But darling, you didn't. You seemed to lose more. Our prayers were constant.

After a full year of intensive work with you, Bethany was passing you developmentally. We were baffled. You accidentally hurt your nose one day, and we had to take you the emergency room. The doctor asked Daddy if you were autistic.
"What's that?"

Daddy and I began reading all we could get our hands on about autism. Part of me rejoiced that we might have an answer. You weren't the only one with these strange behaviors. We weren't alone. We weren't crazy. You weren't demon-possessed or something. The road was charted. Yet, part of me wept because there was something not right. Some of the material we read was dramatically frightening. Much of it was hopeless. Much of it bordered on preposterous.

We made our own diagnosis, but knew we'd need official back-up. Through some Christian friends we "found" a Christian doctor who was not only homeschooling his own autistic son, but was practicing in another county. (We do not "trust" the local county officials with our son. We have never taken one cent of government money, nor one minute of the county's time with Trent.) The diagnosis was clear: autism.

I cried for all of thirty seconds. I thought of all the things you wouldn't be able to do. But those tears dried quickly as I realized that God was in control and that for some reason He permitted this to happen. I grasped just a portion of that love He has for you and realized that this situation was given to praise His name forever.

Today I can't prove it. Yet, I have this gut feeling. Perhaps someday a test will be conclusive. But darling, I strongly feel that what happened to make you autistic was the vaccine shots I allowed you to have. I've learned so much since then. Your development had been wonderful. If you had had brain damage at birth, we would have seen signs immediately. But your history is so similar to other children who have "caught" autism from vaccines. Since then we haven't subjected you (or any of your siblings) to immunizations.

We'd been trusting God for your care since day one with you, and why should anything be different now. We sought God for solutions and He's been supplying them.


The End-of-My Strength Day

Darling, you certainly can make some messes. One day you made such a mess in your room . . . . We put Bethany in her room and I bathed you. Big brothers started on your room and we scrubbed walls, toys, the ceiling fan, you name it. How could one little boy make such a mess. Big brothers were exhausted. My arms ached as I scrubbed the carpeting and we still had so much more to clean. I prayed. Then I did something I've never done before.
I picked up the phone to call Daddy to ask him to come home early. I couldn't handle it anymore. As I was dialing his office, I heard keys in the front door. God knew. Daddy's boss had taken the staff out for dinner and then let them have the afternoon off (it has happened only once). Daddy appraised the situation, sent me to go lay down and he finished the clean-up. God knows just how much we can each handle. He taught me that day that nothing is going to happen to us that is more than we can bear. He is able to furnish us a way out. Even before I asked (finished dialing Daddy's number), God had sent Daddy home to help. I know now that we, as a team, can handle any situation.


I Think It's Broken

You woke up early one morning and came in to snuggle. Daddy had already left for work and your siblings were still sleeping. It was so nice. I praised the Lord that you like to snuggle. Some autistic children don't. For some reason, you quickly sat up and then dropped back down.
Your granite-hard head ricocheted off my nose. Bless your heart, you didn't even realize you'd hurt me. I couldn't even talk, I was blinded by the pain. Yes, it was broken. Obviously, from just looking at my face the doctors could tell. Darling, I realize you didn't mean to hurt me. It was an odd accident that could have happened with any of you children. But do you know the Lord even blessed that?
In the process of repairing the broken nose, the doctors found that I was on the verge of an abscess to the brain. I had five different surgical procedures done (including a "nose job"). God uses you in mysterious ways, Trent.


Realization

You and I started the morning with a "routine" physical therapy time for about an hour. Then I had to get going with breakfast and other chores, so I let you wander.

I walked by your bedroom and heard sobbing. You were crying the most horrible cry - like someone who has experienced deep sorrow - a mourning -type of cry. This is the cry no mother ever wants to hear from her child. I rushed to you and tried to find out what was wrong. I pleaded with God for help.

I know all your cries. There's the "You moved the baskets around" cry, the "I'm not getting my way" cry, the "I'm scared" cry, the "I'm terrified" cry, and dozens of other cries.

This was so very different. This was the cry of anguish, sorrow, of deep lost. I'd imagine this to be the cry of a man who has watched his wife killed before his eyes.

I quickly questioned your brothers. Had they done something to you?

"No, Mom, we don't know what's going on."

I continued to work with you, checking you over from head to toe, in case you were seriously hurt. Nothing. Then you looked at me and tried to speak:

"I . . . , I . . ., I . . ." part of me wanted to rejoice because you had never used the personal pronoun "I" before. Never!

Then as I continued to "mother" you, you sat bold upright and gave me a look like you had the wisdom of the ages and said very distinctly:

"LONELY OUT THERE!"
and you continued to weep.

I was a mixed bag of emotions and questions. I held you tightly and assured you that you weren't alone, Jesus is always with you. (More for my comfort than yours.)

I feel it was another breakthrough. You realized that you are different.

I was amazed that you even knew the correct words to express what you were feeling. Your world is lonely and you wanted help.

I wonder if, like an alcoholic, realization of the situation plays a major role in dealing with the condition. I didn't want you to suffer. I felt, with your heavy sobbing, the pain you must feel, the loneliness, the isolation. We do all we can to include you in everything we do. But now you know you're different.
We all held you and comforted you. Then I had to go to Bethany for a minute and you grabbed Stuart, like a drowning man for a life-preserver, and said,

"Brother, come to my house. Come to my house."
As if you wanted us to come visit you in your world. It was as if you were crying out for us to understand you and see your world with you.

I am awed at how, with your simple language, you stated such an awesome concept. How as a five-year-old boy you could understand your situation so well.

And then the pain you felt for the knowing.

You wept on and off for several hours. We stayed right there with you.


Unawares

One Wednesday, you and I were in the "baby room" at church and I had to leave you for a few seconds to signal the audio-tech about the sound level. I came back into the room and there was a young lady "loving up" on you. You were responding to her in a manner which I've only seen you do with me, Daddy, Reed, Stuart, or Bethany.
You were so comfortable with her. I was amazed at how you related to her. She seemed instinctively to know just what to do to minister to you. We talked for a few minutes. She thought you were wonderful! She even said how "neat" it must be to have a child like you. It was one of the most encouraging conversations I've ever had. What impressed me was that she was saying things which I have said about you being a blessing, but she had only been around you for a few minutes. She said she had to go. The service started and later I looked for her. In the four months we were visiting that church in Texas, I could never find her and no one knew her or of her (and it was a relatively small church). I wonder....


Pain Relief

It was a bad day. I was under attack but fighting the good fight, so to speak. I was preparing for a writing class I would be teaching the next day. My copier had crashed. It was not going to allow me to make copies of the class materials. No problem, I could just print the material off of the laser printer. It would cost five times as much, but I'd have something for the children the next day. Then, it happened. The electricity, city-wide, went out for several minutes. No, no, no. The computer crashed. All my work. All my writings. All those names and addresses. I started a "reconstruct" program to save the files. It started up. That was a good sign. It was on 3% of stage 1 of 6 stages.

I was having a migraine. I hadn't had a migraine in years. This was one of those headaches that when you bend over you hold your head because you know blood is going to come out. It was throbbing. It was nauseating. It was the type of headache that affects your whole body. I didn't need this.

I haven't even told you about the major remodeling operation that our landlord was doing to fix the shower. Plumbing work, carpentry, tile work---it was a noisy, dirty mess.

I stopped in the middle of the living room and sat down, Indian style, leaned over with my head in my hands, and prayed.

I felt a small hand on my back. A boy's voice said, "Mommy, are you all right?" TRENT, it was you!
What headache? What problems? Everything vanished as I twisted and hugged you. This was you, the same boy who a year before had broken my nose and was totally oblivious to the emergency situation. You had no idea you had hurt me then, that I was reeling in pain so intense I can't think of a strong enough adjective to describe it, or that I couldn't hold you right then.

Now, one year later, you see me, the food-machine (at times I used to think that was all I was to you), on the floor holding my head in my hands. Even my sensitive ten-year-old didn't notice I was troubled. But you, Trent, not only noticed and was conscious of someone else's situation (other than your own), but you followed through with appropriate behavior. You patted me on the back. You found the right words in your beautiful, but strangely ordered, mind, "Mommy, are you all right?"

Trent, at that time I equated that "breakthrough" to Joni Erickson-Tada winning a gold medal in ice skating.
I'm so glad God allowed me to have a headache so I could experience that moment with Trent.


Sea Life

Trent, I've always been amazed at your ability to see life in ways I miss. You were being auditioned for the Full Circle Program at the Clearwater Marine Center (popularly know as "Dolphin Therapy.") We passed through the gates and were allowed to crawl down the ladder to the sea turtle tanks. The program manager, talked to you gently. She gave you some lettuce to feed the sea turtle and told you her name was Bailey. You took the lettuce and threw it in the tank and said, "Bailey, Come." That was so amazing because you usually take years to learn someone's name and to respond to situations. And you know what, my love, Bailey came and you fed her.


Bible Homing Beacon

I'm often asked if you are a savant. People are naturally curious and want to know if you have some "superhuman" gift or talent. They've seen "Rainman" and want to know if you're a walking calculator. I answer them honestly because I don't know, darling. But I do know that you do have an uncanny talent for finding and loving God's Word. You've done this dozens of times.
As early as I can remember, you'd chose your little Bible for your "toy." Just as some children have teddy bears, you'd love, hug, cuddle, pet, and sleep with your little blue Bible. You finally wore it out and we've replaced it with several other Bibles. You can find Bibles, too. We've told friends about this and they've "hidden" their Bibles. Sure enough, you home right in on it. Remember how you found Mr. Hodge's Bible under his bed? You went straight to it. Could you smell the leather? Do you remember the time you stood in front of a bookcase filled with hymnals. Among those hymnals was one pew Bible with the identical binding.
You paused in front of the bookcase, something had caught your eye. Then within seconds you pulled out the Bible and started hugging and loving it. It didn't smell any differently from the hymnals, yet you knew it was different. How do you do it? And how can we all cherish God's Word like you do? Thanks, darling, for the constant reminder.

My letters to Trent go on and on with stories of how he's enriched our lives and drawn us all closer to the Lord. I'm convinced that he's not disabled at all. He's enabled by God.

Through my international ministries, I'm asked many questions about Trent, autism, and home educating a special child. Here are some of my answers:

Does your church help you?

We've had our share of situations where others have "seen fit" to treat Trent as less than a gift. It is to their suffering. There is a very interesting verse in Lev 19:14 - Thou shalt, not, curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shalt, fear thy God: I am the LORD.
I wonder how many churches (and individuals) are "calling a curse" upon themselves by not ministering to our special children.

We had just moved to a new town and were "auditioning" churches. We first visited one church which was supposed to be the most Spirit-filled church in the area - so blessed that the pastor had a daily radio show. We had always kept Trent with us in service but they refused and demanded he be taken to "children's church." They came back a few minutes later saying we had to do something - Trent wouldn't sit up straight in his chair. I was pleased they got him in a chair. We left.

We are so blessed with the church we are in now. They love Trent and hire workers or recruit volunteers to work one-on-one with Trent for any service or study we want to attend. They consult with me on a regular basis so that they complement his therapy. This church is a true blessing.

Yet I regularly talk to families who haven't found a loving church home. Dad goes one Sunday and Mom the next. Their child isn't welcome.

I know. We started the new year of our local home school support group drama club. The previous year had been wonderful with my eldest son having the lead part in the musical. This year it was going to be very different. Some parents were concerned that Trent would be a negative impact on their children. I wonder what these parents teach their children. If two hours a week being around a special needs child will undo all the "discipline" they instill the other 166 hours, what are they doing at home? What message are they giving their children?
Only "perfect" people should be allowed in public? Only "perfect" children should praise the Lord, be in a choir, attend Bible study? I wonder. We just stayed home. I don't like controversy. When my friends asked why I wasn't attending the drama group any more, I told them that the leader was getting complaints. My friends said that the complainers should be the ones asked not to attend and I should go. I know in my heart that if Jesus were there He wouldn't chastise me for bringing Trent. He wouldn't say, "He'll disturb the flow of the service, you should keep him at home." No, I'm sure my Saviour would smile reach out His arms and put Trent right on His lap. Because autism isn't contagious, Love is.

Potty-training?

I know that question well. I've heard it dozens of times and I asked it many times myself. We tried every method, system, trick we heard or read about. Nothing worked. Then all of a sudden one day it "clicked." Trent was six. How'd it come about? I have a theory:

I had to get over my predilection about this and lay it at God's throne. I had felt it was too basal to talk to God about. As indelicate as this subject is, and I'm not one to talk about such things in polite society, I was desperate and asked hundreds of friends and relatives to pray about Trent's training. It worked. I learned nothing is too indiscreet for God to handle.

Do you have a curriculum for autistic children?

I've learned to answer this one carefully. If I immediately say, "No" the caller says, "Thank you" and hangs up - not giving me a chance to explain. PREACCH is a ministry, not a curriculum supplier. We publish a newsletter to forum ideas, prayer requests, and methods. We don't purport to be educational consultants.
I wouldn't trust any so-called curriculum for autistic children. I think it would be absolutely impossible to write one. There may be some immature attempts out there. I can't imagine anyone being so ignorant of the condition of autism as to propose that they knew what to teach them all. Autism is not a universal-type condition. Every autistic child is unique. He each has his own characteristics or "combination" of sensory functions and "mal-functions." Whereas Trent (hypotactile) responds positively to rough tactile stimulation, the same treatment would be abusive to a child who is hypertactile.

Each autistic child needs her own custom curriculum. No "off the shelf" text will work. I've meet many autistic children and they are not cookie-cutters of the others. They have some similar distinctives, but their ability to learn is reached through very different gateways. In some cases a "normal" child's text will form the base, but the approach to using the text will be completely different. For instance, with a "normal" child you might have to tell them the sound "a" makes a dozen times before they "own" it, with Trent it will take a hundred dozen times and a variety of styles of "telling."

There are helpful books available which can give ideas for reaching these children. But, again, the methods have to be customized to the child. Using a hyperauditory method with a child who is hypoauditory would just heighten the problem.

Personally, we are thrilled with the NACD (National Academy of Child Development) program. I know Bob Doman is a tool of God for children like Trent. Quarterly, Bob evaluates Trent to see what progress we've made. Considering many factors, he designs a new program for Trent. NACD volunteers train Alan and me on how to do all the therapies and methods. We work the program until the next evaluation. Trent's program is Trent's program - customized for not only who he is, but where he is developmentally. Trent is becoming less and less hypotactile. He used to be a nightmare - he was so impervious to pain. He didn't even cry when he received severe burns from placing his hand on a hot skillet. He didn't feel the heat until it was too late. It only took seconds while I was digging in the frig for something. He's doing so much better now. We remember the first time he felt enough to have goose-bumps. What a victory!
Bob Beninger, also has been a wonderful blessing to us. He can develop a custom program for an autistic child.


What qualifies you to teach Trent?


It might sound curt, but GOD DOES! He obviously is making me qualified - I'm Trent's mother.
I don't have a Ph.D. from any university. I have a Ph.D. in Trent from the Creator of the Universe. I know Trent. I know that look in his eyes when he's opening a gate to his soul. I know when to push and when to let it go. I know when to stand firm and when to hold him tight. I know when he's too tired to go on and when he's bluffing. I know when he can do more. I know Trent.
I live with Trent. (Amazing concept!) I can work with him 24-hours a day (if necessary). What is the probability that Trent is ready to learn numbers when some school teacher has it on her lesson plans? I don't think so. Yet, sometimes Trent is teachable at 7:30 in the morning or 7:30 at night. I can work with Trent at odd hours - at the right time. I can be consistent with him. Much of his therapy is done in small little chunks of time that need to be reinforced throughout the day. I can do that because I'm with him all day.

I love Trent. And it takes love to go over something hundreds of times. It takes love for Trent to feel safe. It takes love to ignore the bruises (accidental as he tries to breakthrough his hypotactility). You can't pay someone to love. It takes love to forego other activities to do Trent's therapy. Yet, I feel the opportunity cost of other activities is too costly. Trent is too valuable to put tennis lessons, more ladies functions, worthy volunteering, another Bible study, or a career ahead of him. He is my career.

I have help. The indwelling Spirit of God is the most power credential I have. He infuses me with wisdom. He develops my patience. He gets my feet moving in the middle of the night to check on Trent. He shows me how He feels about Trent and my heart overflows as I look into Trent's eyes.

I have help. God has blessed me with the most wonderful husband and supportive children. Alan does much of Trent's therapy. Reed, Stuart, and Bethany Kay all have routines they know how to do with Trent. And they want to. They accept that our family is different and they praise God for that difference: Trent.

Yes, God qualifies me to be Trent's teacher.
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What about "professional" help?

If you define professional as "state" help - my answer is none. If you define professional as someone who has dedicated his life to reaching autistic children - my answer is "very selective." God gave Trent to us, not the State. I don't feel the State has any moral obligation to care for Trent anymore than it does for any citizen (national defense, police services, etc.). I've met families who upon hearing their child had a special needs immediately turned to the government for help, money, guidance - instead of turning to God and His Church. It is one thing to accept financial aide when the Church has turned you down, it is another to look to government as your provider and sustainer. We have been fortunate to not have to take one cent of government aid or one word of their counsel. (More on finances in question 6).

Professional A: Someone who has "dedicated" her life to making money off special needs children. She is an expert. She has spent hours studying our children behind two-way mirrors. She has written a thesis. She wants to "prove" her theory out on your child. If you'll just sign him over to her, she'll let you know in twelve years whether her theory helped or not.

Professional B: Someone who has "dedicated" his life to helping special needs children. He is an expert because he's spent thousands of hours working with families face-to-face. He has written thousands of programs and he has a proven theory. He doesn't want you to sign your child over to him, he wants to teach you how to work with your own child. He's here just to tell you some tools to help.

Professional C: Someone who has studied for twelve years how to diagnosis symptoms and write prescriptions. He doesn't want to cure your child, just to medicate him to make your life more enjoyable. He has the mentality that the reason one gets a headache is because one has a Tylenol deficiency. A child is hyperactive because he has a Ritalin deficiency (yeah, right?). He charges you huge amounts of money to turn your child into a drug dependent "pet."

Professional D: She is still studying "medicine" and looks for ways to prevent symptoms instead of the old "drug or cut" methodology. She looks at the whole family for lifestyle changes, diet, exercise, family history. She suggests nutrients, vitamins, and diets. She seeks ways to cure, not just treat.
We've meet varieties of those four models. And some of them are scary with their own language of "techniques" and "methods." They have a vocabulary all their own. And some of them are refreshing with their ability to communicate to us in terms we can identify and use.

We spent a day with a "true expert." She was the head of a special education department at a major university. Her life's work was testing "these children" and her specialty was autism. She was amazed at how much progress Trent had made. She commented frequently that I had done more with him in a few months than "they" could do in twelve years. She was impressed. Then immediately demanded when I was going to turn him over to the professionals. I asked about color-blindness. I was having a time trying to teach Trent his colors. She laughed and said that her own son was totally color-blind and they didn't find out until he went for his driver's license test! Her own son! And she was the head of a university's special education department. And she wanted me to turn my son over to her! I don't think so.

I always warn parents to test experts. Certificates don't matter. Plaques and diplomas don't matter. Our children do matter.

Follow the dollar signs. A Christian friend who is an elected official told me that for each "normal" child in my county the school system receives about $6,000 a year, but for Trent they'd get more than $100,000. He suggested that we do all we can to not let them know about Trent. He's not a precious child to them but a walking meal-ticket.

Yes, I'm all for getting help where ever the Lord leads you. No, I'm not for getting secular, worldly, un-Biblical advice. And we have to seek His face to discern between the two.
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What about the finances?

How I pray for more answers. We trust God with all our finances. He's provided in marvelous ways. We have committed not to make Trent another "public assistance" case. That doesn't mean you're wrong or evil if you accept Federal funds. You have to go as the Lord directs. But we would be hypocrites if we decry the Federal budget and elect those who would balance it and then we're on the dole ourselves. We believe God's way is for families to wisely budget and the church should fill in the gap. We also know that many churches don't fulfill their obligations and some families have no choice but to submit to government moneys (and requirements and intrusions). The Lord knows your situation. He knows how you've tried. He knows how others have failed Him. He'll deal with them. You just stay faithful to the doors He's providing for you.

We live very "frugally" in some aspects of our life so we can be "lavish" with Trent. It's a choice to eat and cook differently (Dinner's in the Freezer!). It's a choice to live in a simpler house and to drive two old, paid-for cars (both more than 140,000 miles). But then, many families are doing all this and still ends don't meet.

At one time in our lives, Trent was going through therapy which cost $100 every other day. It had to do with his blood disorder: thrombocytosis. We couldn't just "absorb" that out of the milk money. We filed insurance, but was told it was impossible. Insurance had never paid on such a claim. We prayed. We starting selling things. We realized there wasn't a thing we owned that we wouldn't sell for our Trent. We had friends who had garage sales for Trent.

During our own garage sale, I had marked our clothes. I hesitated over my favorite dress. I had never worked so hard making a dress before. It was beautiful and feminine, a rose print, almost Victorian, with a lace collar. I offered it to God for my son. Do you know it was the only article of clothing that sold that day. God showed me something that day. I gave my best, my favorite dress. It was accepted.

A few days later, the doctor's office called. The insurance came through. It was unheard of. They couldn't believe it. Insurance paid 80% of the bill. And we were able to raise the other 20% through extraordinary means.

There is hope in God. He does honor His principles in the Bible. Every time we've followed his directions, it has worked. I hear your "but, you don't know our situation . . ." "that's easy for you to say . . ." "Yes, but..." I know, beloved. I've heard hundreds of your stories. And I've heard many stories like our dress/insurance story. All I can say is that with 100% accuracy God has honored Himself in our lives. Without fail.
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What about this hyperbaric chamber stuff?

We've received a great deal of interest in the hyperbaric chamber therapy program. The full answer would be thousands of words. In our attempt to help Trent, we found an alternative healing doctor. Dr. Parsons studied as a pathologist, but decided he liked working with live patients. He analyzed Trent's blood at the cellular level. We found out that more than 50% of Trent's blood cells are old. His body has difficulty producing red blood cells. (I wonder if this is proof of the vaccine connection?). Trent went through 25 sessions of 100% oxygen (as opposed to 20% in air) given inside of a hyperbaric chamber at 1.7 atmospheres of pressure. At first we didn't see any results and felt it was a waste of time. But into the second week, Trent looked at me. It was the first time since he'd started his decline (past 2 years old) that he'd really looked at me - person-to-person. I was impressed. Each time in the chamber he was better and better. Because of his size, Alan or I would accompany him in the chamber. During the sessions he was "normal." It was amazing. We had conversations. We sang together. But the effect didn't last out side of the chamber. At first. Then it would last for a few minutes, then a few hours, then a few days. He was never as "normal" out of the chamber as in the chamber, but he was better. Even his Sunday School teachers noticed the difference. It was a great start and well worth it.
Alan and I would rather forego some wonderful therapy if we feel a click in our spirit. We feel that no "developmental" progress is worth Spiritual danger. Trent's spirit-life is far more important to us than any worldly achievement. We felt a spiritual peace about this "new" therapy. There are "new" therapies which we wouldn't let near our son (i.e. hypnosis, new-age-styled behaviour modification, etc.). I didn't make the connection until I heard a sermon reminding me of the giant hyperbaric chamber Dr. Carl Baugh is building in Glen Rose, Texas. The world before the flood was quite different than ours today. Basically, when we had Trent in the chamber we were getting closer to what the pre-deluvian world was theoretically like. Exciting concept.

If we could afford it, we'd turn our house into a giant hyperbaric chamber. I started researching alternatives. I found one which we've been experimenting with. I learned about it from some Mennonites. Since then I've been reading about therapies using hydrogen peroxide and how the chemical used to be in the food chain.

I printed my "formula" (everyone's calling Jill's Gel) in one of issues of The Bondingtimes and have been receiving many letters filled with positive results. I'm not a doctor. I'm just a mom who is trying to do best by my children.
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What is PREACCH?

PREACCH is our international ministry to "Parents Rearing and Educating Autistic Children in Christian Homes." We're a support group of families who write to each other via the PREACCH letters. We're "experts" because we live with or minister to a child with autism (or related condition). We all love the Lord.

This article was printed from the web site www.bondingplace.com. Permission is granted to print one copy for PERSONAL use. For multiple copies or any other use, please contact Jill Bond for permission.


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original artwork copyright Reed Bond, all rights reserved

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