Thursday, October 19, 2017

Empowering Gabriel: A mother’s love wins against autism

March 31, 2013 by  
Filed under Feature

Terri Greathouse Gibson with her son, Gabriel.

Three years ago this month, Las Vegas Black Image profiled Terri Greathouse Gibson and the efforts to bring healing to her son, who was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Today, she captures the essence of the intervening years, in a timeline journal she calls “Believe It’s Possible.” – by Kimberly Bailey Tureaud.
2010: YOU GOTTA BELIEVE IT’S POSSIBLE
Creating the atmosphere for success. Don’t feel sorry for Gabriel, he is a not a victim. He is victorious! I decided to take the approach to amplify his gifts, strengths and talents, and manage his weaknesses. I also had to give up my blame list! That was hard. It’s not what happens that determines the major part of your future. Things happen to us all. The key is what we do about it. I know longer cared or worried about Gabriel being in the right school, going to the right college or helping him try to fit in where he clearly did not belong. The new questions were: Is he in an environment where he is celebrated, not tolerated? Does he have to adapt to someone’s else guidelines? Is he always praised for his efforts, regardless of the outcome?
Step 1: Home schooling, which provides one-on-one interaction with a team of people (teacher, tutor and myself) who worked together to develop material from educational resources that catered to Gabriel’s individual learning style.
2011: LOOK BEYOND WHAT YOU SEE
How did I know Gabriel was going to get better? I didn’t. I just had to believe that he was. The alternative was doing nothing to change his circumstances, and he would surely remain the same or get worse. I had to throw away all the so-called “expert syndrome” advice.
Step 2: Go on a strict fruits, vegetables and fish diet, which I find necessary to enhance the healing process of his recovery (the gut and brain connection). We juiced every single day, using all natural ingredients. We eliminated processed and packaged foods, artificial flavors and dyes.
2012: SENSE OF PURPOSE
Developing skills that are necessary for his growth, confidence and the transfer of skills into adult life. Teaching him how to count money, cook, ride a bike, learn to swim and exercise the body and mind. Sustainable living to help make Gabriel independent.
Step 3: Shaping his mind early in life by having us both continuously recite empowering words and phrases. Planting the seeds of faith in his abilities, reinforcing the “believe” mindset.
Reading to him every night: Bedtime stories were created and designed to develop self-reliance, imagination and a desire to be strong, independent and persistent.
Small recordings: Next to his pillow, playing recordings of all the people in his life, stating words of encouragement and focusing on the things he is doing well. His own personal fan club/support group. He always hears from people who love him, encouraging him to succeed.

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