HOW WE HELP

Micah is a 20 year old with Down Syndrome who has been on a neurodevelopmental program nearly his entire life.  When Micah was born, the W’s were blessed to be informed that early intervention would be helpful.  But what direction should they go?  There was a school that would have been an option for Micah, but his three older siblings were already being home schooled and the W’s wanted to home school Micah as well.

Fortunately, Micah’s Mom saw an article in Teaching Home magazine about neurodevelopment, and their journey began.  These were the not-so-good old days and Micah’s first evaluation was in Utah which was a long way from Ohio.  They were then able to transfer to Detroit and then were instrumental in helping start a branch in their hometown.

The W’s like that the program is home based, that it automatically gives them a regular update on Micah’s progress, and that it is tailored to Micah as opposed to being a generic program for kids with Down Syndrome.  The hard parts are the same things that are hard for any home schooling mom – only more so.  Doing program day after day, year after year is exhausting, and she often wishes she could just be Micah’s mom instead of worrying about what activities they haven’t done yet today.

Micah is a good reader, strong at math, and has much better muscle tone and oral-motor skills than he would have without program.  Even though he’s pretty shy, Micah enjoys people and is becoming more and more involved in the community through youth group, craft class, a program at the Y, and going visiting with his dad, a pastor.

From Micah’s Mom –
“I still am having trouble seeing our story as a success story.  I wonder if a mom with a brand new baby who happened to have that extra chromosome would?  As the years went by, I began distilling my definition of “program working” into what were the very most important goals that I had for Micah.

One was reading, so that he would be able to read his Bible and understand it and to read for fun.  Well, I am kinda giving up on the reading for fun part but some people just don’t enjoy reading for fun.  But Micah IS willingly reading his Bible every day and answering a basic comprehension question about each verse.  He has read Mark and is just finished with Esther.

Another goal is speech and language.  We are still working on that 🙂

We also want him to have friends – and he does.  Our church family is so sweet and accepting and loving to Micah and he has friends in all of the places we frequent.

Micah has enriched our lives in so many ways, and, in that way, I think our story is a good one.  Just not what I was thinking of as success in the early days.”