Do you have any idea what it’s like to feel as though there’s absolutely no place in the world for your child? No place safe enough. No one who desires to take enough time to truly get to know your child and understand him. No one that truly believes in his potential. No place that would assign value to him.
A few years ago, that is the exact place we found ourselves in. We felt hopeless and helpless. During one of our darkest seasons, God allowed our paths to cross with The Treatment and Learning Center for Autism.
Over the course of the last several years, the staff at TLC have breathed new life into our family. It is all because they chose to believe in my child when no one else would.They challenged him academically because they could see his potential. They challenged him behaviorally because they believed he was capable of overcoming. They didn’t allow him to settle, even though it was the harder road to take. They pushed him to reach his full potential. Things that many others said he would never be able to do, he has surpassed. Our son has overcome so much in the last several years and we believe this is greatly due to the fact that the staff at TLC have given their all on behalf of our child.
They have built relationships with our son. They have gotten to know him: His likes, dislikes, personality, and character. Once they got to know our son, they fell in love with him and in turn, he fell in love with them. Once you capture the heart of a child, you can then capture their mind. That is exactly what the staff at TLC has done.
The TLC staff have gone above and beyond the call of duty. The extra time they have put in to offer support, help us to implement strategies within our own home, to assist during melt-downs, to help our child integrate into social settings, and to encourage us to press on could only have been done out of the overflow of their hearts. We will never forget and will always be grateful for their selflessness and willingness to be a support to our family.
For the very first time in the life of my child, have I been able to drop my son off at school and leave without a pit in the bottom of my stomach. I haven’t had to wonder or worry if he would be safe and handled with care. I haven’t had to wonder if he was truly learning or being challenged to reach his full potential. For the first time in his entire life, we have been able to breathe deep and rest assured that he has received the upmost treatment and care. For the first time, our son has known what it is like to have true relationships with people outside of family. He has had a community built around him to love him, challenge him, and guide him.
These are the things that are priceless. These are the things that every Special Needs Parent longs for in the life of their child. These are the things that, sadly, are not offered to families like ours in most places.
The Lord is leading our family to a new city and a new season of life. We are leaving the comfort and safety that TLC has offered. And while we are super nervous and extremely sad to leave behind our TLC family, we know that we could never have made this move if it had not been for their constant help and support over these last few years. Our son would not be in the place where he is today. I believe he would’ve never developed the skills that he has now without the help of the TLC staff.
I know it must be a great undertaking to keep programs like The Treatment and Learning Center going. If you have ever wondered if it’s truly worth it, our family is living proof that TLC is in the business of changing lives. It’s not just a behavioral therapy center. TLC is impacting the lives of those who are often times cast aside or never given a chance anywhere else. For our child, TLC has been a symbol of hope and promise of a future filled with bright possibilities.
We will forever consider The Treatment and Learning Center home. We will always be grateful for the impact they have had on our family. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for the difference you have made in the life of our child. It is our prayer that God would continue to pour out His blessings on TLC and its staff as they continue to change the world, one child at a time.
Jake and Nichole Huggins
So many special friends throughout the years…wish we had pictures of them all. TLC staff, you know who you are! THANK YOU!!!