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In 2008, my son Jo-jo was one and a half years old. He could not say a single word, not even saying dad or mom. He also did not like to have eye contact with other people, and he would not react most of the time when we called his name. We could not understand what he wanted because of communication difficulty and Jo-jo became emotional by yelling and lying on the ground. We tried to teach him things by using pictures, but it seemed like he could not receive any external message. He was living in his own world. At first we thought he was still young and the situation would change as he grew up. The doctor recommended my husband and me to take Jo-jo to a developmental delay examination but we thought that was not a big deal.
It was not until Jo-jo was almost two years old and the situation remained the same that we began to get worried. The examiner told us that Jo-jo had many autistic symptoms. The report showed that our two-year-old son only had the language ability of a 8-to-10-month-old baby. We were very desperate and helpless after hearing such news. We tried to search more information about autism through the internet but the more information we found, the more helpless we felt.
“Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it.” My husband and I decided to share our needs to our brothers and sisters in the prayer meeting. During the night, all our brothers and sisters had been desperately interceding for us. In my prayer, I asked the Lord to prepare someone who was experienced and reliable to assist us. Thank you God, for He knew how desperate I was. The second day, I learned that a Christian friend who was a counselor for autistic children. I felt very peaceful after talking to her on the phone. I knew Jo-jo was a gift from God and He surely will take care of him.
After that, we started to face many practical challenges in the process of helping Jo-jo. Although it seemed to be a great obstacle, we experienced many blessings from the Lord. The doctor referred Jo-jo to a very passionate social worker and a loving and experienced special ed school. Miraculously, Jo-jo got used to the school on the third day and did not cry. There was also a very patient and experienced speech therapist and Jo-jo reacted very positively to her. I felt very encouraged every time during the counseling session and I learned many ways to help Jo-jo at home from the therapist. We were more thankful that we received all these services free of charge! God really heard my prayer.
As Jo-jo started the therapy, our whole family prayed for him every night. We asked God to open his mouth and take away all the autism symptoms. He had great improvement after the therapy and our continuous prayers. When he was two-and-eight-month-old, he could say “mom” for the first time. He became less emotional and could actively approach other children. When he was four, the report showed that all of his previous autistic symptoms were gone and his speech ability was the same as the other children of the same age. Now, he has become a cheerful, passionate, and loving child. If God did not help us, there was no way that he will recover in such a short period of time. I am very thankful that God has given me such a sweet boy in my life that I could experience more of His blessings.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalms 23:4-6)