So, family is incredibly important to me. I’m fortunate enough that not only is my immediate family amazing, loving, supportive, but my wife’s family as well. Even extended family. I hit the jackpot. Is it any wonder that the families I describe in ‘Breakdown’ reflect that? Probably not (though I may be including some less-functional families shortly.. just a heads up).
I’ve tended to keep my own family out of my career as an author, but some things have happened recently that have changed my mind. I shouldn’t be hiding them, I should be celebrating them. They’re the reason I started to write, after all.
Today I’m celebrating my eldest daughter, Sephi. She’s a spitfire toddler, aged 2 (and 4 months, thank you very much). She loves to swim, run, play, laugh, kiss, make blanket forts and play outside. She’s one in a million, and just last week we found out she’s also, one in 189. That’s the current rate of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in girls born today.
It wasn’t much of a shock to us…we were both educators who were used to working with kids, and both knew that as hard as we tried, we couldn’t help her hit the developmental milestones that typically developing kids hit. Don’t get me wrong, the diagnosis still hurt, but it wasn’t a surprise.
We know God created her with a purpose, and that He doesn’t make mistakes.
We’re fiercely proud of her, and thankful for the diagnosis. You see, for the last four months she’s been working very hard once a week with an in home speech therapist, an occupational therapist, and an ABA therapist, and that hard work is paying off big time. The diagnosis will allow additional hours to work on those skills.
In the last four months we’ve seen huge improvements in her fine motor skills, and her vocabulary has gone from 5 rarely used words and zero sign language, to 20+ words and a handful of signs (including ‘more’, ‘all done’, and ‘my turn’). As you can imagine this has made an already happy girl so much happier. She can communicate, and get what she wants, without a meltdown!
What does all of this have to do with you?
You’ve helped give us the ability to help our daughter. Because of you, we’re able to stretch my teaching salary, and allow her amazing mother to stay home with our girls instead of going back to work. She’s able to sit with the therapists when they visit, and learn how we can help Sephi grow. How in the world did you do all of this?
35 cents at a time.
For every episode you choose to buy, 35 cents goes to helping my family. A real, working class family. 35 cents doesn’t seem like a whole lot, but you all have made it add up to something incredible; a small set of miracles that will help a little girl reach her full potential.
So thank you.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Thank you for making a difference in our lives.
Thank you for being a part of my family.