by LaMonique Raquel
When my son “Junior” was born he was as handsome and as cute as can be. His father and I wanted nothing but the best for him. As junior began to grow into a toddler, we noticed he had some speech and slight physical delays. As time went on and more and more was expected from him (tying shoes, using words etc.) it became apparent we needed some intervention.
We took Junior to the Early On program for testing. At this time junior was around 4 years old and had the speech pattern of a much younger toddler. He was extremely hyper jumping around on things uncontrollably. He also had very weak hand muscles and did not have enough fine motor skill strength to even flush a toilet or open a door.
After extensive testing with Early On it was determined that Junior was delayed by a few years in many areas. He was placed in a program called Pre Primary Impaired or (PPI for short) for 4/5 year olds. While attending PPI Junior was blessed with a teacher, Miss. Dee who loved her job. It was very apparent that her heart was very much into what she was doing. PPI offered many resources to a child dealing with issues like our son. He had Speech therapy almost daily from a certified Speech Therapist. Miss Dee, the teacher also incorporated speech activities into the daily routine continuously.
Well it wasn’t long before Junior’s speech was up to Par. He still remained “somewhat” on the quiet side at school, which was due more to his personality than anything else- because when he was home we definitely could see the advances he had made in his speech.
Coincidentally Miss Dee also joined our church and was Junior’s Sunday school teacher as well. See I told you Miss Dee really loved helping children develop. She truly was a blessing in our life.
Junior was tall for his age. At 4 years old he looked more like a 6 year old. This created higher expectations on him from other people. I felt I had to constantly make excuses for him and say things like he can’t help it. He’s delayed. One day while we were at church, the children’s dance teacher (Ms. Rose) asked junior to tie his shoes. Right away I started to defend him. “I said he can’t tie his own shoes, he’s behind on his fine motor skills.” Ms. Rose corrected me right away. She told me to stop saying that over him. She grabbed his hands and prayed over them. She told me to speak over my son. I listened and began to do so.
When Junior’s 1st year of Pre Primary Impaired (PPI) preschool ended, he was invited to a summer school class by Easter Seals (The favor of God). They were awesome! They continued working with Junior on his speech so that he wouldn’t lose what he had learned over the school year and started giving him occupational therapy for his hands. Over the course of that summer program my son gained the full use of his hands.
As time went on junior advanced in areas but he continued to be hyper. He was extremely hyper! Junior was so hyper that when I would take him to the doctor it was just like dealing with Tigger (the character from Winnie The Pooh). He would jump all over the doctor’s office while we waited on him. He was so fast that I could not catch him. I remember we were in the doctor’s office and Junior was snatching all of the character decals and wall paper off of the doctor’s walls. I promise you I could not catch him in time to stop him for doing this. When the doctor entered the room, here was all this wall paper hanging and falling to the floor. I was so embarrassed.
I told the doctor, “I can’t handle him, I’m overwhelmed, and I don’t know what to do.” After seeing his wall I’m sure he could only imagine the intensity of junior’s energy at home. The doctor gave me a medicine he said would calm him down. It was called clonidine. I personally am not big on meds, but this had become a last resort.
I started giving my baby the clonidine and he became an absolute zombie. None of his personality was even visible anymore and he would be rocking in and out of consciousness throughout the day. I said oh no! I’m not doing this to my baby. No amount of stress relief for me is worth these effects on him.
During this time my husband worked and I stayed home to take care of our children. This left finances lacking as you can imagine. We ended up needing help with food so I went to a Christian organization. This organization gave away food and clothing after you had a prayer session with them. When it was my turn to see the prayer warrior/counselor I told him I had already accepted Jesus as my savior and didn’t need prayer for that. I’m glad he continued to press. Somehow the things that had been bothering me about my son Junior surfaced and I told him about that. We prayed and the counselor gave me a scripture that Paul often used to address others. “Grace and peace be unto you.” He told me that whenever my son is jumping all over the couches (as he did at home), for me to speak grace and peace be unto you Junior. You are a calm child in the name of Jesus.
I began speaking this over my son. I also began speaking that he had favor everywhere he went. Let me tell you the Good News! My son became calmer and calmer. He continued to stay in special education, but his teachers always admired him. He was even fortunate enough to receive free tutoring over a summer when he was in middle school. His reading and writing skills elevated to his current grade level in just that one summer. Not only that but junior received so much favor from this teacher that she started tutoring him in math, during the school year for FREE!
God is so good. By the time my son was in high school, his teachers remarked he was the most well behaved student in their classes and when they look back over his old Special Education reports (or Individual Education Plans) they can’t believe he was EVER diagnosed as Attention Deficient Hyper Disorder. They always commented “But he is so laid back”.
God is so good. He is faithful to His word. I urge you to speak the word over your children. I sometimes tell my son—whenever he is feeling discouraged about a situation: “God has never left you in any condition you were in, I spoke over you and he brought you out.”
Imagine if I had not spoken the word of God over my son and how very differently his story could have turned out. Your words are POWER—–Speak LIFE—Speak the Word of God.
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net