Denial to Healing: A Mother’s Journey Through Learning Disabilities
- Thursday, September 16, 2010
Anna was so excited about the changes happening in Anna Lee that she flew to Chester, England to train at INPP as a Neuro-Developmental Delay (NDD) Therapist.
Anna Lee blossomed as her mom applied all she learned. "I sensed we had began an adventure like no other. I became an observer, a soother, and an encourager. During her sobbing moments, I curled around her and held her until the sobbing subsided, promising her it would be okay. Sometimes she showed exciting new confidence with her newfound abilities. Other times she seemed uncertain what to do with the changes. I was, too, but I was in this for the long haul, whatever it might demand of me. Emotions ran high, but I was determined to ‘ride the waves' as she went through each new stage."
It was worth everything Anna and her family gave. "Seeing Anna Lee smile with confidence, answer someone when they spoke to her, or stand on one foot for the first time in nineteen years, literally gave me chills. It was like a continual adrenaline rush," said Anna. "What an awesome God we have that He would bring such profound healing to this child of mine."
As Anna Lee progressed through developmental stages the "normal" child goes through much earlier in life, Anna was still discouraged with Anna Lee's academic process. These changes didn't come until much later, but when they began, they too progressed rapidly. Still, Anna felt her daughter needed greater support in learning how to process auditory information now that the developmental blocks were removed.
Anna traveled to Toronto, Canada to be trained in Paul Madaule's Listening Fitness Program. She chose it because it is based on developmental growth just as the work of INPP is. When she combined NDD therapy with Listening Therapy, the results were astounding.
Eighteen months after they started NDD therapy and after Anna Lee completed the Listening Fitness Program, she was reading adult fiction and beginning to function at age level across the board. Prior to starting, she had struggled with reading 3rd grade level books, couldn't make change at the grocery store, and would get lost trying to return home from the neighborhood park.
"I had prayed for so many years that God would show me what was wrong and what to do about it. As the answers unfolded and my daughter came alive before my eyes I was astounded, humbled, and in awe of a God who created our bodies so marvelously. I felt as though I was given my daughter back as a whole person."
Today Anna Lee is a fully functioning adult. Anna says, "I am thrilled to have finally gotten to know her. She is definitely her own person and she has talents and abilities that I didn't know existed. She loves to read and she writes novels—truly amazing. She has thoughts and opinions that I enjoy hearing. Even if I disagree, it's a pleasure to know that she can think for herself. She continues to do new things every so often that amaze me. She is now comfortable inside her own body and interested in the world around her. Anna Lee has become an adult and can take care of herself. She no longer needs me by her side in order to survive."
Anna's gift of healing now extends beyond the borders of her home. With the help of her older daughter Melissa, a business major, she began Anna's House (http://www.annashousellc.com/), which offers educational remediation. From this warm, loving environment, Anna serves children from literally around the world, helping them find the healing her daughter lives daily.
"Seeing broken, dysfunctional children become whole persons is a privilege I cherish. Watching and listening to a child who once couldn't read now read with enjoyment is music to my ears. Joy fills my heart when a child who once couldn't write brings me a story he or she wrote."
Successes abound. One seventeen-year-old boy struggled through a 2nd grade primer when he first came to Anna. He's now twenty-one and earning straight A's in his chemical engineer degree program. Another child couldn't write or read but after therapy won the governor's award for her essay. A fourteen-year-old went from batting last on his baseball team one summer to having the highest batting average and being chosen for All-Stars the next. A six-year girl broke out of her shell, no longer terrified to interact with others.
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