Sometimes it takes years to see fruit from the seeds we sow. For the teachers at In His Image, patience is one of the most important assets, both in daily interactions with the students and as they look at the growth and development in each child year after year.
Koti came to the center at 12 years old. His parents were at the end of their rope because of his violence and inability to stay still, focus, and follow directions due to autism. He was struggling with constant anger and would hit, kick, and fight every time he didn’t get his way. His father, a very hands-on, involved dad, brought him to In His Image alone. The teachers wouldn’t meet his mother for years. In His Image was these parents’ last chance for any hope before giving in to complete despair.
It’s easy to imagine that in a culture that tells you a child with disabilities is a curse and punishment from the gods, a place that treats differently abled kids with respect, love, and dignity offers a stark contrast. And in a country where parents go to the extreme of applying to 30-40 schools for their five year olds to make sure their future has the best foundation, admitting kids based not on ability but on need truly stands out. At In His Image, they don’t judge, they don’t form opinions at first sight, they don’t think anyone is hopeless. They accept kids who seem most difficult because they know that when treated with deep care, knowledge, and dignity, they will improve.
Koti attended In His Image for two years. He received occupational therapy, physical education, speech therapy, special education, and vocational education. They prayed for him, cared for him, and taught him with respect, and he looked forward to going to school every day. His violence decreased, he was able to sit in one place and do some work, and he learned to follow instructions.
He improved so much that his parents started desiring bigger and better things for him and thought he would do well in a mainstream school. Feeling empowered by trainings and workshops and by Koti’s advancement, they withdrew him from In His Image and got him admitted to a conventional school.
After a year, as Koti regressed in his abilities, they came back seeking admission again, realizing that no other school treated their child with autism with as much dignity and consideration as the In His Image Centre. And this is exactly what’s unique about In His Image. They know that every human being was fearfully and wonderfully made by God and because of that, deserves respect and hope.
Now Koti is back at the center again and he is doing very well. His mother finally came to the Christmas program in December, and she was absolutely overwhelmed by seeing her son perform on stage in front of an audience.
Because of the skilled care that teachers at In His Image have been training and supporting Koti with and the love they have been extending to him, this boy has come a long way and is thriving today. But he is not the only beneficiary of this program. The center also helped his parents find renewed hope and love for their differently abled child and taught them how to work with him in a way that fits him. Blessings all around.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.