Special Needs children may include those who have health disabilities or learning disabilities, whether permanent or temporary, or simply require a greater level of attention and teaching than other children.
His name is Amos B. Mort. A.B. for short. Amos is polite, well spoken, and kind. He uses his whole face to smile, and it has the ability to light up a room. A.B. requires daily medication, for which he diligently keeps an eye on the time so that he’s never late. He has an older sister and brother. He tells me that before he came to Great Mercy, he wasn’t learning. Now, he is learning and it makes him very happy. His favorite subject in school is English. He hopes to be a doctor someday. Amos is a focused, bright, and talented ten-year-old with big dreams and aspirations. He could change the world one day. Great Mercy has already been a big step in that direction by giving him a safe place to learn and grow. The teachers and staff here play vital roles in the lives of children like A.B. They are a source of encouragement and inspiration. They are there to challenge and direct them and show them love and care. Great Mercy impacts children like A.B. for the rest of their lives and, Lord willing, will continue to do so for generations to come.
Miriam is ten-years-old. She usually sits alone or walks by herself, eyes down. I haven’t seen her smile yet. Miriam came to Great Mercy in December. She has only been here for about four months. Miriam, along with her brother and sister, were abandoned by their mentally unstable mother when their father passed away. They had an uncle as well, but he was unable to provide food for them and so they were on their own. Due to the conditions of their environment, Miriam came to be covered in chigger bites. The trauma that resulted from losing her adult family combined with the physical damage that the insects caused left her confused, withdrawn, socially hesitant, resistant, and unresponsive. A concerned neighbor brought Miriam here to Great Mercy. Her brother and sister were placed with a guardian outside of the school, but they come to visit her and participate in school events and outings when possible. In the short time that Miriam has been at Great Mercy, she’s slowly been making progress. Even in the desire to copy the other children while playing and interacting is a huge improvement. She has been brought to a place that will not only show her the love she needs, but also has the people whom can gently draw her out of the shell that was made around her and show her that it is safe to run and laugh and play. Miriam’s life has already been changed forever by being pulled out of a dark and terrible situation. She’s been brought to a place of light, a place of hope, and a place where she can grow and learn not only in academics, but also where her identity lies. She can be assured in the knowledge that people love her and care deeply about her. We’ve all been shown a great mercy by our Savior, and when people welcome a child like Miriam in, I think that is one of the best ways to reciprocate that blessing.