Thomas was 11 yrs old when he came home to live from Andrus. Due to all the home visits the transition was very smooth. We learned a lot of the language from Andrus, eg: if Thomas was having a difficult time we encouraged him to, “turn it around”, to present a time out as not a punishment but a positive action to remove oneself from a stressful situation. It was not one method of therapy that gave Thomas success in controlling his behavior. I know it was a combination of the therapies, the meds and the environment. All those tools fit together when the amounts were found to be “right”.
It was really nice having Thomas living at home, don’t get me wrong nothing is sunshine and roses always, but we felt complete. And due to the work at Andrus we were able to take family vacations and not fear a complete breakdown from him.
Thomas was still Thomas though, even though the aggression was gone he still perseverated over things (a total focus on one thing and talk about it over and over). This is just one of his many traits that make Thomas who he is. As a family you adjust and most times you don’t realize consciously you’re adjusting. It’s just the way things are in your family even though you know it’s not the norm of other families. But…those other families have their quirks too!
For 2 years Thomas attended Andrus as a day student while living at home. The bus picked him up around 7 am and he returned home usually around 4-4:30 pm. He never complained once about a long bus ride. Not once. There’s the resiliency again, he is gifted. During the spring of Thomas’ second year living home. I received a phone call from the principal of the day school that they felt they weren’t meeting Thomas’ academic needs due to his low IQ. I couldn’t argue, they were right. Truth is I didn’t even know where to transfer Thomas to. A typical junior high was out of the question according to my gut feeling and talks with a couple of people “in the know”. Then one afternoon The Lord steps in. Amazing.
Tommy was chatting with the loveliest neighbor we had. An elderly man who was almost the mayor of our block. Tommy was telling this man we needed to find a school for Thomas but didn’t know where. Our neighbor says, “Have you tried the Hungerfor School? My son in law teaches there and I think Thomas would fit in there, have Menay check it out”. Tommy literally runs home and asks me, “Why haven’t you checked out the Hungerford School?!” He tells me his conversation with the neighbor and I’m dumbstruck. Could such a place exist? God is good and his timing is impeccable!
The next morning I begin my phone calls. I ask to speak to the principal but she is one busy lady. When I do get to speak to her I explain the situation of residential school and now Thomas is a day student living at home, we need a new school, etc… I keep calling and request to see the school and when I go on a tour I’m amazed and almost speechless! This place has literally everything I’ve imagined for my son. Vocational training! Life skills! Oh my goodness. I request a meeting with the district and they change Thomas’ school to Hungerford.
I often think about how “coincidental” my husband’s conversation with our neighbor was, but it was no coincidence, no way, no how. When you stop “looking” for the work of The Lord you realize it’s all around you, that things don’t fall into place without his hands all over them.