Tuesday, July 24, 2012

How ACS prepared me for Autism

- from Christy

People occasionally ask me what my initial reaction was when we realized Josiah most likely had Autism. I was sitting at our dining room table in Eli Whitney with Tammy our service coordinator with the Children's Developmental Services Agency. She asked a lot of questions, watched Josiah for a while, and finally acknowledged that our concerns were understandable. And while she couldn't give us an official diagnosis that day, I knew and never again doubted that Autism was a reality for Josiah. My first thought in that moment was how sad it would be if Josiah were never able to attend Alamance Christian School. My parents had worked at ACS my entire life. It meant home and family and safety and loyalty and pride and faith and foundation and so much more. I had taken for granted the fact that all our children would attend school there. Papa and Meemaw would always be right around the hall just like they had always been for me, and perhaps after all of our children were school age I would go to work at ACS too. My Daddy often says that he bleeds the school colors of royal blue. I have always felt the same. But in that moment, I felt all of that slipping away. I felt the deep sadness of a dream never coming true, the heartache of a parent knowing that one of their children suddenly did not belong, and the fear of Josiah not being a part of something that I have always held so dear.

Our early years at ACS.
As a child, I did not know the life long and eternal impact that being a part of Alamance would have on my life. Through the gift of godly parents, attending and learning at Beacon Baptist Church, and being a part of the ACS family, God taught me precious truths about His love and care of His children and of His perfectly sovereign will for my life. Because of Alamance, I had the privilege of seeing first hand Christians like ACS alumnus Doug Roberts and ACS teacher Eddie Blalock face God's will of cancer for their lives with grace. Their faith in Christ's sovereignty even in the most difficult of circumstances made a significant impact on the way I viewed God's will. Being taught by educators who viewed their jobs as a ministry and whose desire was to be used by God, made me want the same for my own life. You see, it was about so much more than learning multiplication facts and state capitals. It was about learning of my need of Jesus, my complete dependency upon Him, and of the importance of yielding to His perfect will for my life.

Faithfully Yielding. I believe that is my life's purpose. I believe that is how God is using the Verroi family. Our mission field, our calling, is that we will choose to faithfully yield to God's sovereign will for our lives. We have tied the knot in the end of our rope, and we are holding on to faith. Faith in our Heavenly Father who has chosen premature birth, infant death, miscarriage, meningitis, adoption, unexpected diagnosis, and even Autism to bring about His perfect will for our lives. A will, first and foremost, that brings Him glory, and that will be for our eternal good. Lessons I learned while walking the halls, sitting in classrooms, playing on the courts, performing in plays and singing in the chorale, and sitting under the teaching of the faculty and staff of Alamance Christian School.

Leaving for our first day of school.
During the 2010-2011 school year, Mr. Daniel Freeman, faithful educator and administrator at ACS for 19 years, took a chance on our Autistic boys. He allowed Josiah and Jalen to attend school at Alamance. The teachers went out of their comfort zones and so did he to give our boys a chance. Because the boy's Autism is very severe, after much prayer, we decided to home school them in 2012. That 2010 school year is one that I will forever cherish. And perhaps someday, our boys will return to ACS. My prayer is that God will use Alamance Christian School for years to come, and that many more kids will benefit from the precious gift of attending such a remarkable place. 

First day of school 2010.

Jalen began attending school right before Christmas 2010.

Josiah in his classroom.


  1. I want you to know that those boys were such a blessing to us.But then, so are you!

  2. I love the pictures of the boys at school! Also love the picture of our young family. Seems like yesterday! Love you!

  3. Love love love this post. Love you, too!


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