by Bettie Hall
Ethan, my 11-year-old grandson, has Asperger syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder. He is sweet and loving, extremely intelligent but socially inept. Change is difficult for him. He can easily become frustrated and go into a “meltdown,” screaming, kicking, hitting or throwing things. He relates more to adults rather than children of his age.
My daughter and her husband attend ISP (individualized education plan) meetings with several individuals at Ethan’s school (teacher, principal, counselor, advocate) to go over his needs. These meetings often are frustrating for my daughter, but her most recent meeting was encouraging.
After the meeting Ethan’s teacher approached my daughter and said, “I don’t know if I’m supposed to tell you this, but Ethan has taught me so much this year. He approached me in the middle of December and told me the true meaning of Christmas. I now start each day with a prayer and have a sense of calmness that I did not have before.” Then she hugged my daughter.
My son-in-law was in the hallway and overheard the conversation. My daughter is a nurse and works weekends. Her husband cares for their three children while she works. He said, “I heard the conversation. Perhaps it’s time I get them back to church.” Her response was, “And perhaps it’s time I change my schedule to every other weekend so I can go too.”
People were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them; and when the disciples saw it, they sternly ordered them not to do it. But Jesus called for them and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it” (Luke 18:15-17).
Bettie Hall is Mom to two, Grandma to six, and friend to many. She enjoys retirement from her home in Virginia by volunteering with Meals on Wheels and a local food pantry, traveling with friends, and writing with her "Scribblers" group. Her prayers, encouragement and support impact Romania via Kim's service with Elder Orphan Care.