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Autism and Giving

If you’re like me, I struggle sometimes to know how to give and help all the causes I care about. One that is very near and dear to my heart because of my son is autism. But where to start? I feel so overwhelmed helping just my own son that I don’t even know how to get beyond that.

To give you an idea, Myron started school. And he’s really struggling. He’s tried to run away a few times, spends most days crying, and has started to beg not to go. It has everything to do with his autism and the lack of support he’s finding there. And that’s not to say the school is purposely failing him, but it is failing him. They just don’t have the resources and skills needed to handle everything.

Because of that, we’re going to move Myron to Clear Horizons Academy in Orem. I toured the school today and was near overwhelmed by the confirming peace I felt walking through the doors. The school is dedicated to serving ONLY autistic children, and it is night and day difference from any experience I’ve ever seen. During my tour I was nearly killed by a six-year-old boy running full tilt down the hallway pushing a five-foot tall inflatable ball! He was being “chased” by his personal aid, and both were laughing so hard. I got to observe what would be Myron’s class, and the first thing I noticed is that all the kids where being constantly touched, hugged, and reassured by the teachers just like Myron needs (1 to 1 ratio, by the way!). Add in the support for parents, the resources on site, and the specialized equipment and training, and I just felt blown away by it.

However, the school is expensive. We will, of course, sacrifice and pay for it and be just fine, but one thing I found is that the school has an agreement with Amazon.com that if you buy anything through Amazon using the school’s link, Amazon will give a percentage to the school. Tuition at the school is $25,000 annually per student (80% covered through donations and gifts), and I figured that this was such a simple way of helping not only Myron, but the dozens of other current and future students that I’d throw it out there. We are fortunate enough that we can make the tuition payments by tightening our belts. There are so many kids out there that just can’t.

Here’s the link: Amazon.com

Basically, if you shop at Amazon, you start there, and all it does is it just credits a portion of your purchase to the school. So if you’re wondering about the little things and how to help, this is an easy one. All you do is click a link and do the shopping you normally do anyway.

And if you need any more encouragement, let me just say that I saw 47 perfect, happy, beautiful autistic kids today. And one tried to kill me with an enormous inflated ball. :-)

I think we’ve all laughed (or groaned) about the story of the guy asking the girl to marry him based on a prompting he had. The girl in the story typically says no because she hasn’t shared in that prompting or, perhaps, has another prompting.

Over the last few weeks I’ve felt much the same as Courtney and I have made decisions based on promptings and what, to us anyway, were clear revelations. We’ve felt crushed as each of those promptings came to not (at least on our time table), especially since each has been backed up by blessings, additional promptings, and other things that have encouraged and excited us.

All of this has prompted me to ask the question: What do you do when the promptings don’t come true?

As a reward for finishing my most recent semester of my Masters program early, I picked up and re-read the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson. It had been a few years, and I had forgotten what a wonderful story he crafted. Towards the end of the second book and throughout the third, one of Sanderson’s main characters, Sazed, goes through a crisis of faith where he approaches religion and faith in logical, methodical ways. Over the course of the book, he invalidates each of the some 300 religions known to Sazed.

In my own life, I’ve spent these last few weeks wondering how such rich revelation can bear so little fruit. It’s not quite the same question Sazed asked, but the intent is the same: What do you do when the faith doesn’t move the mountain?

I won’t give away what happens with Sazed except to say he eventually realizes that faith isn’t logical and “makes it.” For me, I encountered answers of my own this morning. Among the numerous scriptures I encountered was this one:

Doctrine & Covenants 58:31–Who am I, saith the Lord, that have promised and have not fulfilled?

In another recent post, I wrote about how I think we sometimes take the promises and promptings we receive and then add a human element to them. Speaking of Sazed, his logical approach to religion became the barrier to his understanding and approach to truth. In our case, has our humanness created the fog? Has our eagerness associated an unpromised timeline?

Sometimes the lights really do go out.

And sometimes we just close our eyes.

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So I ended up not harvesting today. Could have, but there’s enough going on right now, that I decided to wait a week or two.

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So there’s new brood and a queen again. I looked at Shiloh when we found her and the eggs and said, “I hate this hive.” And I do. :-)

It’s still a dead hive come winter. There is almost no storage, very few bees, and no real brood. If push comes to shove, I may try to combine this hive with Hive 3 to bolster that hive, but we’ll see.

Hive 1

Wow. They are working quite happily on the second medium of honey, and my guess is they’ll get it given how big and full they are. The hive is huge, thick with brood, and happy. I love this hive.

Hive 2

Doing okay. They are working on their first honey super, and if we harvest later, we’ll probably get it full. I will probably pull a few frames and leave this one be, though.

Hive 3

Remember how I said that Hive 3 was always my weird hive? Well, we pulled open this hive, and not only is the egg-laying worker still at it, but we spotted TWO queens on a single frame! Obviously just hatched, and I debated watching them to see the inevitable queen fight, but I also worried about leaving them too exposed. The hive is quiet strong, though I’m worried about what happened to the old queen. Do they have time to recover and get back up to winter strength? Probably, but….

Given the egg layer, drones, and the coming break in the brood cycle, I’m not planning on harvesting from this hive.

On other news, I think we’ve figured out how to transport and set the bees up when we move. I wouldn’t have a problem losing any of the hives except for Hive 1. That genetic line is something special, and I’ve had it since the very beginning. The queens out of that hive are always super strong, and the hives always do quite well. I’ve had trouble splitting off that hive, but I manage to keep a good queen in it each year.

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The sale of our home failed today. Honestly, we’re not too surprised, though we are disappointed. I could see it in the buyer’s eyes these last few times…. It was obvious that he was looking for a way out, and he finally got it. He used the inspection as his way out.

We’re disappointed, but I think this will work better in the long run because of timing. Since we got the first offer, timing has always been a bit of an issue, and this helps with that. We’ve already been able to identify a fairly long list of reasons this is good. The only real negative is that the hasn’t sold….

Yet.

And that’s the key. The first offer came in only eight days, was a good offer, and came in the midst of significant interest. All those interested parties have been contacted again, and the home is back up on the various websites.

We’re back to the waiting game, but this time without all the timing stress, which was honestly building up pretty thick. We’re okay.

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