a little background

hi, my name is mandy and I have two amazing little boys. My oldest son, Ty, has been diagnosed with autism (which is what you will read most about in this blog); I also have Tripp, who is an amazing little brother to Ty (who you will also hear alot about). I was encouraged to start this blog to document our journey through life and life with autism... my world has been rocked in last few years and i have responded in good ways and bad ... but Jesus has gotten me through all of it...

i hope i can be an encouragement to you, and for the friends and family that will read this - maybe this will keep you posted indepth on what Ty is learning! :) and the adventures of Tripp too

thank you for reading, and if you have any questions, comments or smart remarks; feel free to post them.

Thursday, November 17, 2016


From the time I found out I was pregnant with Ty I prayed for him. I prayed daily that God would use him in a big way to impact others around him. I specifically prayed for Him to give Ty a passion for Jesus like no other. I still pray that and once Tripp arrived I began those same prayers for him.

Last night at church me and Ty were walking in the sanctuary. Once we got through the swinging door (this can be a process at times) Ty ran over and sat next to one of the younger youth boys. He just squeezed himself between him and the end of the pew, the young man had to scoot over a little so Ty would fit but he didn't go far and welcomed Ty and all his excitement. I laughed and told Ty to come on. The young man smiled real big and started talking to Ty, asked him for a high five and just started giggling at the things Ty was doing and Ty was laughing with him. Then Ty stops, looks up at me and says "Bye...Bye .... bye" lol. Like I was gonna leave him with a 12 year old and trust he wouldn't start hopping pews and running around the church?! We sat and chatted a few minutes with the young man and then went on to get his normal seat with an adult while I played in the band. As I walked away my heart began to smile. There are so many kids and teenagers in this world that show love. They show love to everyone no matter their differences. Yes our church is small and most everyone knows Ty and all his tactics but some could still shy away from conversations with him and some do. But those moments when young kids and youth intentionally create conversation and interactions with others who may not act or communicate in a "normal" fashion, those moments warm my soul. After worship we went to music for the kids and then to RA's. Ty and I ran up the stairs with the rest of the wild and rowdy boys (Tripp among them). We get settled in our seats and Ty starts chattering and trying to talk to everyone in the room, some smile big, some look away, some laugh and encourage his silliness. But there was one little guy (I say little I think he's a 4th grader?!) started talking to Ty. He asked him if he wanted a book, then a pen or pencil and a roll of tape.  He grabbed different things and kept sitting them in front of Ty so he would have stuff to play with. Ty would get excited and nod his head "yes" to each question. The little boy asked Ty how his day was, looked him in the eye and listened to Ty "talk" in his own language nodding along and being so attentive. When class was over Ty got mad because he wanted to leave and play with the door immediately and this same young man came up to Ty to reassure him and comfort him, he asked what was wrong and when I told him why he was upset, he told Ty "it's ok we're gonna all go out and play" and then stood with him. My heart was full again with the love that this kid poured out. The compassion and love in simple acts of kindness and interaction were huge! In less than an hour two young boys showed more love and compassion and kindness than a lot of adults know how to do.

There's so much going on in our world and there's a lot of hate running around in so many forms, it was good for my soul to see so much good in one night. To see kids and young teenagers show love to others and not just because it was Ty?! I think no matter who would have come and sat down and squeezed themselves in that pew would have been welcomed - it impacted me because it was Ty and because I struggle with him communicating and being welcomed by others. At times I judge and get mad and upset over situations where I think Ty was left out, overlooked, shunned, mistreated, on and on and on (I have amazing friends that set me straight when I can't see it) ... Sometimes those reactions are warranted and others are probably just me overreacting or expecting something from someone who hasn't been taught how to treat others or how to communicate and include those that are a little different. Sometimes I am on edge and don't really give folks a chance and I see their stares and assume the worst - I know an 8 year old in a stroller who is "talking" his own language or making strange noises isn't the norm and when he attracts attention by being loud or mad or happy - there are times I don't give folks the benefit of the doubt that they aren't just staring to be mean... there are times that those looks are meant to be hurtful ... but for the most part it is probably just curiosity and I know I need to work on that on my end. But these two boys last night really made my night. It might not have been a big deal to them or to Ty but it was a big deal to me. It showed me their hearts and that there are so many kindhearted, loving and just good people everywhere we go. Something God apparently knew I needed to see.

I told you at the beginning of this how I have always prayed for God to use Ty since he was in the womb. Last night I was talking with one of my favorite teenagers, who's a senior this year. She was telling me all about college and what she wanted to do and her big picture plan for her life. In part of her explanation of  why she chose her major she said "I wanna work with kids like Ty". There have been a handful of former youth, college students and kids that we have crossed paths with in the past 8 years that have gone on to pursue degrees in areas of special education, OT, PT, SLP, etc. That have come back and said "I wanted to work with kids like Ty" ... I know he is not the soul reason they chose their path and that there are lots of factors. They have amazing parents that have raised them and helped in their decision making process and groomed them into the amazing young men and women that they are today. But when I hear "I wanna work with kids like Ty" it makes me smile. It shows me his impact and how God is using him in a huge way, even when I don't see it.

I know this was kind of all over the place and just some random stories but these are the things that show me how God loves. They show me that He answers prayers and that He is using us to impact those around us even in the little things.

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