Author: Parent Cue

Help, Don't Hinder

By Gina McClain Our oldest son is in the 6th grade.  He’s close to exiting his pre-teen season and fully embrace the realm of teen-hood. (This is a great opportunity for you to pray for me.) Over the past year he’s grown into a young man that loves his hair, girls and his own opinion.  In fact, he’s grown increasingly bold about sharing his opinion. A once relatively passive young boy that rolled with the punches, today he’s more apt to let us know when he disagrees and why. It’s a new world for us. The most important opinion Keegan will exercise over the next few years is what he believes regarding God, God’s word and God’s plan for his life. You see, what his dad and I believe will increasingly take a backseat to what Keegan believes. And this is what should happen in order for Keegan to embrace his own faith and not simply assume ours. But there is a way that we (as parents) can HINDER this work that God is doing in his life... We can hinder by telling him what he should think. He’s got to be able to think for himself. That means he needs to wrestle through the problem, weigh it against God’s word and wade through his own thoughts. We can hinder by not allowing him to disagree. Though it’s so simple, the wrong...

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The Alice Factor

By Gina McClain I grew up watching The Brady Bunch. As part of our after-school television line up, Brady Bunch reruns were a favorite past time for me. From Marsha’s broken nose, to the infamous broken vase incident. . .I loved the Brady family. There was a simplicity to life portrayed among the Brady’s. Raising six kids can’t be easy no matter what era you raise them in. But Mrs. Brady had an advantage that every parent needs: the “Alice Factor.” You see, Alice was equally invested in the Brady clan. You didn’t have to go far to see that she cared as deeply for the Brady kids as if they were her own children. When they hurt, she hurt. When they struggled, she struggled. And when they fought. . .well. . .she settled it. Alice had a subtle way of revealing the right perspective when Mike and Carol were simply missing it. As creative sitcom writers would have it, Mr. & Mrs. Brady had a trusted sounding board they could turn to for a listening ear and a source of wisdom. With the antics that take place in my home, sometimes I wonder if I’ve got sitcom writers secretly feeding my kids ideas on how to test the limits of my parenting. And just like Mrs. Brady, I need an ‘Alice’ in my life. I need someone in my...

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Hope Boomerangs Back

Guest Post by Tahni Cullen “Pray for others that you may be healed,” (James 5:16). These words wouldn’t leave me alone. I really needed some encouragement––a prayer, a note, anything. From somebody. From an “other.” Six months into my Josiah’s autism diagnosis, I was enticed by waves of despair. I needed someone to listen, to ask about “it,” but more importantly, to really understand. But my usual support system was eerily silent and I felt like we had been relocated to the Island of Misfit Toys. I put on my smile every day, but I was a wreck inside and dismayed that few seemed to pick up on my need. Life continued to go on all around me—but now our life as we knew it was horribly distorted, disfigured, undone. For the first time, even God seemed distant when I needed him to be close. I wasn’t so sure He could be trusted with that which I held most dear. I didn’t have a grid for dealing with an autism declaration paired with repeated blows—“cause unknown, cure unknown, lifelong.” I looked at my beautiful, curly headed two-year-old boy and tried to peer into his foggy future. He had been progressing normally and then just stopped mysteriously, and over a fateful three weeks lost skills and retreated into himself. Society told me to learn to cope. God told me never...

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Autism Awareness

It is now believed that 1 in 88 American children has some form of autism spectrum disorder, according to a new report released just last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the report, that’s a 78% increase from just a decade ago. Though the spike seems to be partly due to better and broader diagnoses,  there’s still a lot to learn about why these numbers are growing so quickly. April is National Autism Awareness month. We hope that you will take this opportunity to understand as much as you can about autism. You can learn more by visiting the CDC website, but here are some preliminary facts to consider: There are three different kinds of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Autistic disorder, Asperger Syndrome, Pervasive Development Syndrome. Autism is more common than pediatric cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined. It occurs in all races, ethnicities, and social groups. Boys with autism outnumber girls 1 to 5. There is currently no known cause or cure. Early intervention services can improve a child’s...

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She Laughs at the Time to Come

April is National Autism Awareness Month. Autism is  a condition which is now thought to affect a staggering 1 in 88 children. With so many parents and families affected by an increasing rate of autism, we wanted to highlight a few stories this week on Orange Parents, not only to bring HOPE to those families but to remind the rest of us to be an encouragement and support for them. Guest post by Sandra Peoples One of the hardest parts of being the mom of a special needs child is the unknowable future. Even when the child is progressing (and our son is) you don’t know if it’s enough. You don’t even know what enough is. Our son was diagnosed with autism soon after he turned three years old. The team who evaluated and diagnosed him said, “He’s so cute! He’ll be fun to work with and we’re sure he’ll make progress.” But “progress” is a very loosely defined word in the autism world. Autism is called a spectrum disorder, because each person with autism has it to a different degree. And next year as the changes to the DSM-V take effect, the differences between two children with the diagnosis of “autism” will be even greater when the Asperger’s and PDD-NOS subcategories are eliminated. Instead of laughing at the time to come, like the Proverbs 31 woman (Prov. 31:25), some...

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