My journey with my daughter began when she was 6 months old and I felt the Holy Spirit whisper to me that she was going to be a worshiper. When she was nearly 2 years old we moved to the UK as we felt God calling us back to live in England. On our first night there, I awoke from a dream and heard God telling me to sing an old church song I had grown up with called “Hallalujah” over my daughter. Hallalujah means “Praise the Lord.” At this stage I did not realise the journey we were about to embark on. Less than 6 months later after noticing several developmental issues and no speech, our daughter was diagnosed with extensive developmental disorders and we were told she was autistic. The doctors told us she would never go to a normal school, speak or communicate with us.
One of the many delays was toilet training. As our daughter reached four and a half years old, and after 17 months of trying to toilet train with both continence nurses and family help, I was feeling completely and utterly overwhelmed because we were making no progress and because of judgment from people. I came to the end of myself. I sat down and read in Mark 9 about a demon possessed child. The disciples could not cast out the demon and when they brought their confusion to Jesus he replied, “This kind can only come out by prayer and fasting.” (Mark 9:29) My husband, my mum and I did a 3 day fast and on the first day she was toilet trained even through the night! We knew God had done a miracle!
We faced more challenges as our daughter grew and we were often judged by other parents both in the church and out. Sometimes people would comment, “not taking my child to Sunday School?” Other parents felt that she was undisciplined. It was a very lonely journey. I came to learn to stop listening to everyone’s advice about what to do or what I was doing wrong in how to parent her and started to ask the Holy Spirit how to parent and raise my daughter. I experienced the greatest freedom and this is where the best strategies came from! My daughter and I took communion every day for a month. Even though she didn’t understand the significance of the cross, I did and we took it together like you would medicine. There is healing in the power of the cross and acknowledging it in communion. I played worship music in my daughter’s room constantly acknowledging “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.” Even though I never saw an instant miracle, God was doing little miracles along the way. To this day I don’t think we have known all that God in his faithfulness and goodness has done.
I was determined to help my daughter live life to the full as Christ promised. Whilst accepting the objective facts of having a child on the autism spectrum, I refused to label my daughter and put limitations on her. Beginning school presented a lot of difficulties for her especially in mathematics. Counting was a challenge because numbers meant nothing to her. She just learnt it by memory like you learn the Alphabet. The problem with this is, you can’t memorise all Maths facts and numbers! I continued to speak the truth of God’s word over her. Instead of absorbing words such as dumb and stupid tossed out by classmates and teachers boxing her into a permanent special needs box, I wanted to achieve God’s word as ultimate truth for her. I would always say “You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. God will help you and help your brain to do all things including maths.” I decided to pull my daughter out of school and home school her. Together we did school work, used a piano and monkey bars to help with writing skills, did horse-riding and singing lessons and many other programs to help with speech and motor skills.
By Grade 4 as she continued to struggle greatly with Maths, God answered a heart cry of how to help us. After asking God to show me what to do and putting her back in school for two years and it becoming clear it wasn’t working, God answered my prayer less than two hours later when I heard about a program called ‘Arrowsmith.’ The Arrowsmith program redirects, changes and develops new pathways for neurons in the brain or promotes ‘neuroplasticity.’ The only problem was the 6 week summer school was in Canada. But we knew this was an answer to prayer and knew we had to give it a go. So within three weeks, we sold our car and purchased tickets for us and the three kids to Canada to try a program we didn’t really know much about. After 3 weeks and seeing the most amazing changes in our daughter, we decided to stay for the full year to access this program.
In the Arrowsmith program our daughter excelled. It was the first time in 10 years we had been told we have a bright daughter. We were given this hope instead of the normal gloom from assessments. Our daughter has always been intelligent, tenacious and hardworking. She worked very hard while we were there and did no academic schooling just cognitive training. Upon our return home to Australia, we have continued home schooling with a tutor for 10 hours a week. She has nearly caught up to her year level in both Maths and English when two years ago she couldn’t count to 100! I am now working one day per week as a certified Arrowsmith teacher in a school and studying a post graduate certificate in Special Education while preparing our daughter to enter grade 7 next year back in school with little or maybe even no learning support! This is a miracle!
It is so clear that God has his hand over this family. In joys and in trials He is the very help they have needed and will continue to need. I have been so impacted by Kylie’s faith and determination. The power of speaking God’s word and His truth over all circumstances of life is unequalled. There are no limitations in the Kingdom of God!
Please continue to pray for Kylie as she seeks to grow the Arrowsmith program within Brisbane allowing other young people to realise their full potential. Pray for her daughter as she settles in to high school and all the challenges that brings socially.
Connect with Kylie via firstname.lastname@example.org