Years ago, a lady from my church invited me to a seminar given by the neurodevelopmentalist that she worked with to help her son, Drew. I had been looking for a way to further my education with the goal of having better solutions for families who came to me with learning challenges. With my M.A. in Special Education I worked with home schooling families, but I noticed that the tools I had learned with that Master’s were primarily accommodating the learning challenges rather than eliminating them. I wanted to help more so I had begun a search for a way to actually help families in a meaningful way. This timely invitation led me to the neurodevelopmental approach.
That lady was Cathy Steere who has shared the story of her family’s journey with autism. When you read her book, Too Wise to Be Mistaken, Too Good to Be Unkind, you will know why I have been studying and applying the neurodevelopmental approach in my work ever since. Amazingly, David and Cathy Steere did not have a diagnosis of autism until Drew was almost four years old. They felt like they had lost so much time, but the beauty of their story is that they had been faithfully following God’s Word in the training of Drew. They had focused on building his character and disciplining him according to God’s direction in His Word. All of that made the individualized neurodevelopmental plans that their neurodevelopmentalist, Cyndi Ringoen, eventually wrote for Drew much more efficient. Often, parents have to begin with getting behavior under control before they can make any progress at all. By not knowing they were dealing with autism but knowing what the Bible taught about the nature of man and the nature of God, they proceeded with God’s plan for Drew and later their second son, Elliot.
Whether or not there are learning or behavioral challenges, any parent will find encouragement as you read this account. For those who are facing any sort of challenge, you will find comfort in knowing that God has given direction to parents in the form of principles. God will lead parents to professionals who can come along side to give encouragement and tools to work with your child to meet his needs. By reading this book, you will learn how the neurodevelopmentalist looks for missing pieces in development and teaches parents to do activities that stimulate the brain in a way that encourages that development.
Personally, I cry with the Steeres every time I read Cathy’s book. Some are tears of sorrow for the difficult times they experienced. Others, are tears of joy when Cathy wrote about the first time Drew ran to her for comfort, giving her his first awkward hug. Though often taken for granted, that simple action in a child with a condition like Drew’s, is a milestone in development. I count it a privilege to work with families like Drew’s because of the perseverance of these parents in researching and following through on whatever it takes for their children.
Find Cathy's book: Too Wise to Be Mistaken, Too Good to Be Unkind – Neuroconnexions Store