21 October 2012

Guest post - Noela Nancarrow Shares: Nathan's ASD Overcoming Testimony

Noela Nancarrow
Noela Nancarrow
INTRODUCING NOELA NANCARROW--Our newest contributor, from Australia.

Please welcome Noela with all of us here at Overcoming Through Time - With God's Help


In her recently released book ‘Hunter’s Prize’, Marcia Gruver writes about the difficulties a young Autistic boy called Ceddy faced, as well as the challenges it presented to those who cared for him. I have experienced some of those challenges myself with my son Nathan who was diagnosed with Asperger’s (a higher functioning type of Autism) when he was four years old. And it’s with much gratitude of God’s love and grace that I can share that he is now a 17 year old boy who has largely overcome the many obstacles and challenges from having Asperger’s Syndrome. He will be finishing High School soon with mostly A’s and numerous awards from over the years; has almost completed a 20 day Work Experience this year at a local Timber Sheeting store, proving that he can work hard and responsibly; and now has his Learner’s License and will be learning to drive soon. All are huge achievements for Nathan – and things that were too hard for us to even imagine when he was younger.
Hunter's Prize
Like Ceddy, Nathan had many obsessions during his younger years. As a baby, he was obsessed with cars, white goods, vacuum cleaners, and irons! So utterly entranced by cars, he would frequently watch them out the window. Or he would want to sit in our car or stand up on the seat holding the steering wheel, while it was in the driveway… for hours!! The clothes iron… would evoke widened eyes and cause his whole body to literally tremble with excitement whenever he saw it. Who knew an iron could produce such pleasure?!

But those obsessions weren’t particularly what I would call challenges… nor these ones when he was a toddler… that is, unless you would call it a challenge if you weren’t allowed to sit on your own lounge chair… because it was a ‘car park for a Shopping Centre’ or have to side-step a hall-way full of F1 toy cars on their ‘starting grid’, every day! Or side step his emptied Piggy Bank, with all of his coins spread out in an intricate and symmetrical pattern for him to count!

No, the greater difficulties that Nathan’s Asperger’s presented to us was the anxiety and stress that he would go through when trying to make sense of a world, that was not only confusing but filled with too much noise, too many smells, too many new changes and way too many people! In short, Nathan’s Asperger’s caused him to frequently have a ‘sensory overload’. These challenges were highlighted more so when he went to school. In the early years, any change to his routine made him anxious and upset. The noise in the classroom was a problem often and he sometimes resorted to hiding under his desk when it all became too much. Once he refused to go into the School Hall because of a smell (that only he could smell!) and many, many more instances such as these plagued his early learning years.

At home, his sensory problems were evident in his growing list of strong aversions to foods, and even simple things like cleaning his teeth or washing his hair were a source of stress for him.
One of his ‘obsessions’ was swinging on a strong rope tied to a large Torelliana tree in our backyard, but this particular activity was actually very therapeutic for him after a stressful day at school.

We are so grateful that we’ve been able to raise him up in a godly home… because he was then covered by prayer, God’s grace, and so much love! And those things, as we’ve found from experience, were the best foundation a child with Asperger’s could ever have! Through God’s amazing grace and abundant blessings, he was blessed with the best teacher for every year of his primary school years. Along with a parent’s guidance, school plays an extremely important part in these kids’ lives. And Nathan’s teachers all loved, understood and accepted him, while helping him to excel even more.

And over time through God’s help, both at school and at home, he’s grown more confident and less anxious every single year.  He may not be the most social person but he knows how to talk to both friends and adults well. I’m just amazed really, every time I look at him and see how far he’s come. He is now very strong emotionally and has developed an amazing sense of empathy, which is something Autistic people can be greatly lacking in. He makes me laugh every single day, and he can never do enough to help. He’s even incredibly chivalrous! In short, Nathan is my hero… but one I’m forever indebted to God for.

By Noela Nancarrow, Guest contributor


This was supposed to be Noela Nancarrow's first post with us as a guest.  But while we have been waiting for this guest post, we have gotten to know Noela pretty well and she is now an official member of the Overcoming Through Time - With God's Help team. Help us welcome Noela to the blog as a contributor!!!

GIVEAWAY: We have a giveaway box of treats this week including angels (e.g., a little white teddy bear angel with gold trim, angel ornament, and angel mantel sitter, Earl Gray tea packets, and some other goodies!)


52 comments:

  1. NOELA, May I be the first to give you a welcoming comment on your first post for Overcoming Through Time - With God's Help! We are so glad you have you with us! God really brought each of you "angels" to me and to our readers. I am assembling an Angel box giveaway for one of our blessed readers! Stay tuned!

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  2. NOELA, welcome to OTT as our newest contributor! We are blessed to have four wonderful "angels" on board now, and then there's me. lol

    What an inspiring post, NOELA! I am so thankful Nathan is doing well now, although I'm sure it has been quite a challenge for you at times over the years. Nathan is so blessed to have Godly parents like you to help him through this life, and I know he has blessed yours considerably! Thank you for sharing about your amazing young man!

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  3. An official welcome to NOELA! It's great to have you on board, girl! :)

    And thank you for sharing the story of your amazing son, who is such a blessing to you!
    I like your writing. :)

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  4. NOELA, it's so exciting to have you on the blog with us. After talking with you it's like I have known you forever. :) You are going to be a wonderful asset to OTT-WGH.

    I so enjoyed hearing about Nathan and how God has helped him overcome. We truly serve a MIGHTY God, it is so amazing that He has put the five of us together. CARRIE you are the #1 angel of this bunch, the one who listened to the leading of the Lord or we wouldn't all be together today. I love you all! :)

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  5. I can't tell you how thrilled I am to have my book highlighted during Noela's debut!

    Because I'd had limited exposure to autism, I was hesitant to include an autistic character in Hunter's Prize. When Noela graciously took the time to write and say that I'd written Ceddy Whitfield spot on to some of her son's early behavior patterns, I was speechless with gratitude.

    Today I'm grateful to her for opening up such a private corner of her home to enlighten and to share the message of God's never-failing mercy and goodness.

    Thank you, Noela. And welcome to your new ministry.

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  6. Welcome Noela! Your story brought tears to my eyes. What an inspiration you and your husband are. Praise God Nathan is doing so well!! Hugs..

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  7. Welcome to this wonderful team/ministry, Noela, and thanks for sharing about your son! Bless God for sons like Nathan who work hard and are such a blessing in every area of life! Thank you, Noela, for sharing that wonderful testimony! I believe wholeheartedly that God has many more wonderful things in store for Nathan, blessings to you both :)

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  8. CARRIE, our head 'angel', you are the one listened to God and who brought us all together - you are a blessing and an amazing woman of God! Bless you!!

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  9. DIANA, thank you for your kind words! Yes the challenges have been many but you're right, he has been such a blessing, and the smiles, love and laughter he has brought to us far outweighs it all! Thanks Angel ;)

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  10. MARCIA, I want to thank you for writing this character because Ceddy inspired NOELA to want to do her testimony about Nathan and to do a review for us. And now she is a contributor!!!!

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  11. Thanks MARIAN, I can't tell you how great it is to be on board! Hey GF I like your writing too my talented friend ;)

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  12. TERESA,I feel like I've known you forever too sweet friend! I know we all often say that God is amazing at how He works all things together for good and at how much He helps and blesses us, but He IS amazing isn't He?!! :)

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  13. MARCIA, thank you for your welcome!! The thrill goes both ways, it really is an honour for me to have my debut while featuring your amazing story! God truly is there for all who give Him their heart!

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  14. MARYLU, how lovely to see you, thanks so much for stopping by to read my testimony and for the lovely comment! Hugs back!!

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  15. KARA, I fully believe also that God has many more great things in store for him. I've seen God's hand on His life so much! Thank you so much for your kind welcome!!

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  16. Welcome and congratulations,, Noela. You are with some sweet bookies...lovely and their choices to review and giveaway are done with God's love. I'm looking forward to knowing you and your writing better.

    Blessed by Grace,
    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

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  17. Noela
    What a wonderful testamony of your son. Glad to hear Nathan is growing into a fine young man. I am so glad for you all. God is good, God is great.
    Love Pam

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  18. Thank you so much BARBARA, so nice to see you here! They sure are a sweet bunch, I feel so blessed!

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  19. PAM, glad you got to read it! Bless you for your kind words. He definitely is great!

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  20. Noela,
    You have a beautiful attitude and a wonderfully transparent heart! Nathan is so blessed to have you for a mom - but I know you feel you're so blessed to have him as your son!

    I didn't realize just what Aspergers is till you posted this though I do know a little about Autism. And I think it's amazing - and so like the Lord - to use Marcia's creativity and heart for Him to bless you and you her!

    I've always loved the covers of Marcia's books and it's neat to read between the lines, so to speak. I'll be making time for them in future. Thanks for the reminder here.

    So happy you're joining the fine ladies at OTT:) Thanks for such an inspiring, heartfelt post.

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  21. Welcome to Overcoming Through Time - With God's Help, Noela. You certainly fit right in here with lovely group of ladies, so insightful. Thank you for sharing about Marcia's book and your own story with your precious son, Nathan.

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  22. LAURA, you are such a sweetheart!! Thank you SO much for all your beautiful sentiments! :) MARCIA'S books are absolutely fantastic LAURA, as are your's, and you will just love them!! 'Hunter's Prize' does hold a special place in my heart though because of the Autistic connection but also because it's a truly exciting, inspiringly romantic and beautifully written story! :)

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  23. Thank you SO much for your lovely welcome and sweet words CARLA! Lovely to see you again!

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  24. Welcome Noela, I am so glad Nathan is doing so well. I have a friend with a son also with Asperger’s who wasn't diagnosed till he was 8 or 9 and didn't get the help he needed at school. He has issues but enjoys the work he is doing. We also have a child at Church with it who is getting help both at home and at school.

    Thanks for sharing your story and great to see an aussie here (not sure if I have commented before)

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  25. Hi JENNY! Nice to see a fellow Aussie here, you'll have to pop back more often and leave comments, everyone would love to hear from you again!
    It sure can make things a little more difficult when the diagnosis comes late. That's great he's enjoying his work though. I'll say a prayer for your friend.
    Thanks for your welcome!

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  26. Reading my dear friend Noela's testimony brought both tears and smiles. I remember very well avoiding the "car parks" of toy cars when I came to visit, and emptying out the change from my purse during church so Nathan could sort and arrange it. I also remember the hard times too. Noela and I sometimes shared tears and heartache over our special children. I watched in awe at the patience and time she spent with Nathan. The fact that Nathan has grown into such a polite, intelligent and God fearing young man is largely due to the prayer and perseverance of this very special lady.
    Noela, I am so happy and proud of you that you have found an outlet for your gift of writing. I look forward to reading your contributions.

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  27. Aww JENNY I'm blushing! ;) You're so sweet, and thanks so much for stopping by too!! I'd forgotten he did that at church as well lol. You can tell he's grown up when all he wants to do now with his spare cash, is to spend it! :)
    Having Aspergers can be a challenge as we, and others know, but it sure can be a huge blessing too with these beautiful children!

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  28. Welcome, Noella! A precious testimony to God's faithfulness in helping us to raise our children. Certainly without Him, we would be lost on more accounts than one :)

    I look forward to reading your reviews in the coming months. You know you're in some good company here at OTT!!! ♥ these ladies.

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  29. oops...sorry about misspelling your name, Noela! That won't happen again. Well, I hope not :)

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  30. ANNE, so good to see you! I was just thinking about how much I have been missing you this morning---and poof, here you are! Isn't NOELA a lovely name?...perfectly befitting this lovely lady.

    Noela is 14 hrs. ahead of us (I think), so she is snoozing at the moment, but will be back on later. We all love you, too, ANNE, and pray you are having a good day. :)

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  31. Noela, your post sounds very familiar to me! :) My 13-y-o has Aspergers, too. I love his quirks and peccadilloes, yet they can drive me crazy at the same time. He, like your son, has come a long way from the crippling sensory overload and paralyzing dependency on routine. Iy-yi-yi, did I ever find out that going to Walmart on a Saturday was the wrong thing to do with him! All the bright, pulsing fluorescent lights, the smells of detergent and produce and candles and floor cleaner, and the hum of conversation, the squealing of shopping carts, the whir of fans, the movement of hundreds of people each wearing different colors and patterns, and. . .screaming tantrums would commence. so many shoppers and even parents would mistake that for a spoiled child, but you are so right when you say that it is only a very overwhelmed child.
    One thing that really helped my son overcome the tendency to see everything through his own lens (Theory of Mind/seeming lack of empathy) is our little tuxedo cat named Felix. He has prompted my son to ask questions about a cat's world and why Felix does what he does and what he might be thinking. Through the help of this cat's amusing interactions, my son has learned that not everyone shares the same thoughts, background, views, and experiences, but that each of us are individuals in how we perceive. It has fostered and released a deep empathy and ability to recognize that our world gets bigger when we invite others to share their perspective with us!
    Please don't enter me in the contest, but I do appreciate the opportunity to chat about AS with a seasoned warrior like yourself. LOL

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  32. Noela, you have a beautiful name! Thank you for sharing your story. I am SO happy God has helped Nathan work through the obstacles. I knew a young man for a short time that had Ausbergers and he was a really cool young man! So I always have a soft place in my heart for those diagnosed with this form of autism. God be with you and bless you both!

    Amada (pronounced: a.m.a.th.a) Chavez

    amada_chavez{AT}yahoo{DOT}com

    Exodus 14:14

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  33. ANNE, you are so right! The difference God has made in our lives is immeasurable! And children are SO precious in His sight. He loves them even more than we possibly could!
    Look forward to getting to know you more, and just quietly, I love that spelling of my name better! :)

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  34. Thanks so much for sharing KATHLEEN! Shopping centres can indeed be very overwhelming for these children. That must have been so hard for you! My son hated the crowds especially, but thankfully coped well enough, but I know a friend had to endure those stares, murmurs and even pointed 'advice' about her autistic child when he couldn't cope while shopping! Love that your son found a grounding and help with his cat Felix! Animals are great for that. I would tell my son bedtime stories about an imaginary friend called Bobby when he was about 3, which of course had same interests etc as Nathan. Many months later, a child moved in next door similar in age to Nathan. His name was BOBBY! And even had the same bday AND same interests! It's like God brought my story Bobby to life and that was of the most incredible benefit to Nathan especially in social areas where he was lacking! How GREAT is our God?!! :)

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  35. AMADA, thank you so much for commenting. These Asperger kids really are so cool! They really can have the most pure hearts. I'm so glad to hear you have that place in your hearts for them! Thank you for your sweet words! God bless!

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  36. My son is such a sweetie pie and so many kids with Asperger's do have such a sweetness about them. We are so glad to have you with us Noela and it is as though we have known you for years! Blessings!

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  37. Thank you CARRIE for not only inviting me on to your blog but also for you and everyone welcoming me with such open arms! Love you guys!

    You're exactly right, they are so sweet, and I really find them all so endearingly fascinating too! I'd love to meet your sweetie pie! :)

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  38. Okay, I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes over Noela's incredible post and all the struggles she and her sweet Nathan have gone through. Yes, I'm a weepy type, but frankly this story is just flat-out heart-wrenching and my heart rejoices with all that God has done for this precious son of Noela's!!

    I cannot tell you HOW thrilled I am to see Noela here as part of one of the most important (and special to me) blogs on the Web, part of a group of women I have come to dearly love. It makes me smile to think that I have already come to love Noela apart from this blog and now I will get to know her even better.

    Welcome, Noela, to one of my FAVORITE places on the Internet!!

    Love you!
    Julie

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  39. Aw JULIE, I love you!! SO great that you were able to stop by and fill my heart with all that joy and love that just exudes from you!! And thrilled you enjoyed reading about my "gift from God"... which was something God actually said to me after he was born! :)

    Lol, I had to smile extra when I read how you and MaryLu got tears in your eyes, especially when I think of how much I've cried while reading your incredible novels! ;)

    JULIE, I am super excited and feel extremely blessed and honoured in joining with Carrie and her wonderful team. I'm really looking forward to what God has in store and especially for the blessing of being able to encourage others in their journey!

    God bless you JULIE, and CARRIE & TEAM!

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  40. JULIE, thank you for your kind words! You see God's work in our lives and you are seeing His Holy Spirit manifested in the annointing He gave this blog. So I give Him the glory for any and all good that comes from us, through Him who owns us all. Big hugs! And so glad that He brought NOELA to us and He showed me right away that she was supposed to be with us. It was such a Holy Spirit thing!!!

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  41. I was pleased reading this welcoming Noela and interview about the sson. I would love to win the prize box. Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

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  42. Noela, So happy to read your blog post today. I worked with special needs children in the public schools for 12 years; the first part with vision-impaired, as a braillist in the classroom with the student, and the second part with autistic students, with my sense of humor and love. The Lord has so blessed me! My husband and I retired and moved to Missouri three summers ago to be in the middle of our children in a long day's drive. Guess who my sweet neighbor across the street turned out to be?? A precious first-born with Asperger's. We love each other! He is now four. His mother told me a sweet story when we went for his younger brother's birthday on Friday. Wanting to share it with you. He initially always called me "My OneBungee" (sounds like our last name). Recently the second little boy was hospitalized and the nurse said to the mom, "He is calling me something and I don't know what it is." She repeated it and the little boy smiled and said to his mom, "Now I have My OneBungee too." Isn't that precious. So beloved.
    Kathleen lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

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  43. Glad to meet you, Noella. I enjoyed your testimony. You sound like a truly wonderful person!
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

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  44. I am a new follower of your blog. I enjoyed reading your all your posts. Noela, your story is so touching. What a challenge and a blessing God has given you in your son! He is so blessed to have you for a mother. I taught many children during my 25 years of teaching and sometimes I would think, "If only he/she lived in a godly home..." or "His/her only chance would be if God intervenes." God bless you.
    may_dayzee [at] yahoo [dot] com

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  45. MAXIE, thanks for stopping by and I'm glad to hear you enjoyed reading the testimony! God bless!

    KATHLEEN, thanks so much for sharing that story! They really do bring so much pleasure and love into our lives. And so glad to hear how long you've worked with special needs children. They need more people like you!

    Thanks RUBYnREBA! Really happy to hear you enjoyed my testimony about my precious son. Bless you!

    KAY,so glad to hear you're a new follower of the blog! I think it's the BEST blog around and of course I'm not biased lol! Thank you so much for your very kind words, and you know, since having a child with Aspergers, I've thought the very same thing many times about them having godly parents! God bless you too!

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  46. Welcome! I have a coworker who's son has autism and he's high-functioning. We've talked a bit about him, but I can't imagine how hard it must be. shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  47. Thanks for your welcome VERONICA! It's definitely a challenge, and especially for those who are affected more severely. But for all the heart-breaking times, there are also those unbelievably special moments. Thanks so much for stopping by. God bless!

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  48. I have a 15 year old grand daughter with Aspergers. We knew she was different, but she was only diagnosed at 13.
    godblessamerica.jan(at)gmail(dot)com

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  49. Hi JAN, so glad you stopped by! My friends son was also diagnosed at a later age, and while he didn't have the advantages of being diagnosed early, it was such a relief for her to finally have answers! Not only for herself but also for others so that they would be more understanding and accommodating. And to also recieve help in the classroom for him.
    As much as a shock that it can be at first, it is much more advantageous to know so that we can begin to understand them and their world more. Praying all the best for your granddaughter!

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  50. What a lovely post - thanks for sharing it! Praise God from whom all blessings flow. :-)

    Jes
    jswaks at gmail dot com

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  51. Amen JES, couldn't have put it better!! God bless you!

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  52. BARB SHELTON you are an angel!!! And you won the angel giveaway box!!! CONGRATS!!!

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