When Resa’s mom, Sue, thinks back on the past 12-years her daughter, Resa, has been at Special Kids, she would have never imagined all she would accomplish from where she started to present. “All the skills and progress she has made over the years allow her to have a better quality of life…Special Kids is one of the major reasons.” Now a high-school graduate, Resa excels at art, “art is her outlet in expression and creativity,” shares Sue. “Resa is now taking art class at high-school level of how to use acrylic paint. She had her first art show at her high school last semester and one of her pieces of art was auctioned to raise money for children with special needs. Resa is now enrolled in a work-based learning program and she continues taking classes and is starting job training.”
Resa was diagnosed with autism at 3-years old. When her family relocated to Murfreesboro when she was 6-years old, Resa began receiving therapies from Special Kids. When Resa first started at Special Kids, her speech was severely impaired, she was extremely frustrated due to her lack of communication skills that she would have tantrums, and she had no ability to express her wants or needs. Resa’s fine motor skills were also delayed, she had low muscle tone, and her self-help skills were delayed. Over the years, Resa has received speech therapy, occupational therapy, art therapy, horse therapy, and has been a “Camp Ability” camper. Sue states, “I saw Resa's progress little by little. But when I would compare her progress to the past, I would think, ‘Wow!!! She can do this now. Last year, she couldn't.’ Her progress might not be at the same level as her typical age group. But, as a parent with a child with special needs, I have learned to cherish her every step.”
Resa is very organized and goal-oriented, traits that have had a positive influence on her accomplishments over the years. She is also kind and thoughtful, she can often be found painting for someone “just because” or making a homemade card to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Resa is also very health-conscious and reads labels on foods before eating them, “She recently decided she will eat only healthy food. Hot dogs, pizza, french fries, and hamburgers for example are no longer a part of her diet.” Presently, Resa can make phone calls, text, write emails, and often corresponds with her 90-year old pen pal. Her fine-motor skills, sensory integration, and muscle tone have been so much improved that she no longer needs occupational therapy. Resa can draw, paint, write in pretty cursive, and play video games. Her life skills are extraordinary; Resa takes care of her own hygiene, including painting her own nails. She packs her own snack bags for school, arranges her backpack for classes, and folds and hangs her clothes. She even helps her mother put away dishes and prepare food at times. She is a high school graduate!
“I saw Resa's progress little by little. But when I would compare her progress to the past, I would think, ‘Wow!!! She can do this now. Last year, she couldn't.’
Sue lastly shares, “Resa is happy. I believe coming to Special Kids consistently to receive therapy helped Resa overcome her difficulties and disabilities. I know she will always be an individual with autism, and there are many challenges that await her in the future, but Special Kids has been helping Resa make consistent progress, reach her full potential, and prepare her for her future. God sent me a special and extraordinary child, but he also sent us the best team to help us raise her. For parents with children with special needs, now you know there is Special Kids. You are no longer alone. Your child will get good therapy here with God's love and hope. For those who support Special Kids (by attending events such as the Banquet) we are so grateful. Your kindness will go a very long way with these children. One little step will build up to a bigger step…many parents with typical children might take these for granted but, for us, it is a miracle.”
Resa is this year’s partner for our Special Kids Banquet on Thursday, September 21, where we will be celebrating an art-filled evening of His workmanship. If you’re interested in learning more about Resa and her family all while enjoying art, dinner, and fellowship, visit http://www.specialkidstn.com/banquet to reserve your seat.