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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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Encouraging Johnny.: Special Needs Parenting 101.
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Rated "G" by the Author.

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A mother reminiesces when her son, now a college student, had so much trouble learning and how far he has come since those dark days.

It seems funny now when I think back to the times when our son, Johnathon, had so much difficulty in learning.  No matter what we did, or how much we tried to help him, it seemed that if his mind was stuck in a steel trap.  He (or we) weren't making any headway.

We realized that our son had brain damage stemming from an episode of meningitis, but we still tried our best.  We enrolled him in extra classes after school and hired tutors; it only brought on more tears, more frustration.  It got to the point to where we wondered if we were hurting our son instead of encouraging him.

It was extremely frustrating, especially when he brought home his report cards.  Each report card echoed the same thing: our son just wasn't learning.  It didn't help that his closest friend, his sister, was a certified genius; he kept comparing himself to her academic achievements, and it got to the point to where he wanted to drop out of school.

What made the situation worse was that he was only in fourth grade.  What could we possibly do to encourage our son without hindering him??

We then heard about Sylvan, this after-school program who catered to "problem" students, or students who were having a very hard time learning.  We enrolled Johnny into the program; the instructors were more than happy to take him in and to help him learn at his own pace, in his own way. 

It was a godsend.  For the first time since he began going to school, Johnny eventually brought his grades up; it was as if our son was a totally different person altogether.  It was as if a lightbulb snapped on in his blocked-up brain.  For the first time, Johnny started bringing home A's, B's, and C's instead of D's, F's, or I's.  As his grades improved, so did Johnny's attitude about school.

The change in him was nothing short of a miracle.  All the years of tears, anger, and frustration soon became a distant memory as we celebrated each new goal that was met by our son, and we were soon displaying his report cards along with all the others on our wall in the foyer. 

Our son was learning!  Our son was bringing home good grades, and he was finally recognized as a potentially promising student; his name was finally on the honor roll at school!  He even got his name in the paper!  To celebrate his good fortune, we took Johnny out to eat. 

Johnny was beside himself with joy.  He was finally seen as a little boy who could learn instead of being shoved in the background while other brothers or sisters got the academic glory!

Now our son is in college, and he continues to bring home good grades.  He absolutely loves it, and he's already decided that he wants to be a writer or a meteorologist when he graduates in a few years (if it is God's will).  We are extremely proud at how far he's come, and now the future looks very bright for Johnathon.  He is no longer the shy, scared child he was for so many years: he is now a confident, capable, estatic young man who has the whole world in check; he is able to do anything once he puts his mind to it.

We wouldn't have it any other way, and neither would he!

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Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen 12/8/2010
Love this encouraging story, thank you for sharing
In Christs Love
Reviewed by Paul Berube 12/8/2010
Nicely told story, Karen. God bless.
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 12/8/2010
All he needed was to be encouraged and allowed to bloom. A beautiful shining story of hope -- well done, Karen!

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.

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