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I heard anxiety in the woman’s voice on the other end of the phone. She was calling to tell me about her son, the one I would be teaching this fall.

I heard a quick intake of breath and the familiar rush of words as she rushed to give me a quick history of his struggles; the diagnosis, the doctors they have been to, the conflicting information. She paused, and then came the precious mother words, “But (she said)…he is such a sweet boy.”

I love to hear those words. They are proof positive that the struggling learner is loved and a loved child is a child with great hope!

I heard her mother-heart crying out, this is what he’s called but it isn’t who he is.
I knew what she was trying to say so I interrupted her.

“Our son didn’t read until he was thirteen” I said.


I repeated, “Our son didn’t read until he was thirteen. He’s smart but he had a lot of struggles.” I smiled into the phone as I said, “Your son will be fine in my class. He’ll learn a lot.”

I’m pretty sure she knew what I was telling her. I wanted her to know that I’ll take care of him; that I’ll look beyond the label and see the boy.

She sighed in relief and, suddenly, I wasn’t a potential hurt for her child, I was a safe place to send her son.

I understand those middle-of-the-night gut-wrenching stomach pains as you pray over your child. Every mother has them but some of us have them more often than others.

I’ve shared my story about our eldest son here.

Do you have a struggling learner? I want to tell you something.

God has a plan for your child. The God of the Universe created him and loves him.

You are the perfect mother for your child; handpicked by God to parent him.

Breathe deep, pray a lot, search for answers but most of all…look deep into the eyes of your gift from God, smile at him and tell him, “Wow! I am so glad you were born!”

For more encouragement as well as neurodevelopmental tips to help struggling learners, please listen to my radio interview!