In response to the overwhelming responses to my pictures of my son, I was asked(byRaised In A Barn) to write a quick story about him....so here it goes!.Our goal is to encourage people to try to see beyond their eyes, to acknowledge that, when given the chance, these kids can bring love and tech unending patience to everyone that meets them!
Born in 2005, Michael was a tiny guy, 4 lbs. 4 oz....after a 3 month stay in the NICU at the hospital, we brought him home to start our lives together.
To us we had only one way to raise kids....so that is what we did. We treated him like all our other kids, 3 daughters for me, and a son and daughter for my husband. Being raised on a ranch, and me in the country, it was a no brainer....animals. Michael learned very quickly, but to keep him excited, we used animals in everything we taught from sign language to colors and counting. Find what they love and they will ask for more!
We have passed this on to all his teachers. Michael will start the 4th grade this fall, 100% integrated into a regular classroom. He does math, tells time and reads. Books about animals of course are his favorite! Yes he can read entire books by himself. His favorite shows and movies are about, animals...NatGeo, is of course his favorite channel on TV. He knows more about animals then many of his teachers, and much more then almost all his classmates! Farm animals is just the tip of the iceberg for him...name an animal, and he can tell you where it lives, how it migrates and what it eats.
I guess we just want everyone to know that just because he is "different", he is the same...exactly the same as all other kids. In fact, I dare say, even better! My girls all accept that their little brother is special and such, he has his moments, but in all honesty, outshines any other child I have ever been around. I have never had someone THANK me for bringing my child to a restaurant...nobody can believe how well behaved he is.
I never dreamed I would be an advocate for a special needs child, but God has blessed us with this task. I hope Michael's pictures and life touch someone and maybe help them understand that all children, all people have a place in the world...even if you don't think it is important, I guarantee it is to someone else.
One quick side story...in church one day, he kept pestering the woman in front of us, he adores women and loves to hug, all of them! At the end of mass, I finally let him crawl in her lap and give her a hug, she turned to me with tears in her eyes and said that his hug was exactly what she needed...that he has no idea how much it meant to her that day. this has happened to us several times so far.
What is Michael's favorite farm animal of course it is cows. When he was younger he had his own sorting stick and would help his dad at the sale barn. He tries herding the chickens now, much to their dismay! On our ranch we have cattle, horses (ponies with one expecting a new one any day now), chickens, dog and cats. He loves riding his pony, bottle feeding the calves, feeding the chickens and gathering their eggs. He could sit all day and watch them. I have included a few pictures of him, doing what he loves...some date back to when he was quite small, but not that young! He is only 40 lbs and 4' tall...always a tiny guy! He is 10 years old now and thinks he should be allowed to drive...so no different than any other kid!
This blog was posted by Raised In A Barn team member Montana Lehman.
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