“If I could describe Blake in four words,” says his father, Scott, “those words would be: silly, happy, loving, and determined.”
At five years old, Blake has already faced many challenges in addition to his autism spectrum disorder diagnosis – but as his father says, his determination propels him forward and pushes him to thrive – and that’s where Elim comes in.
Finding a place where you belong entirely can be challenging, but Blake and his family knew right away that Elim was where he was meant to be.
The previous school Blake attended didn’t always have the resources to provide him with the best education. Oftentimes, he was separated from other students during class, and recess – an essential aspect of his day to burn off energy – was not offered.
After hearing about Elim through family friends, Blake’s parents immediately signed up to tour. Elim’s Christian identity impacted his parents’ decision as well. They wanted their son to gain a deeper understanding of their religion, and Elim would be able to provide that.
Even though they toured other schools, Blake’s parents held out hope and prayed that there would be a spot at Elim for their son. After a short period of waiting, their prayers were answered. Now, Blake has been at Elim for about a year, and his family can already see the growth in his God-given abilities – and he is thriving.
Blake’s classroom is full of his peers with whom he can interact daily, which encourages him to vocalize and participate in different activities. While in class, you can find Blake painting, drawing, and playing with his toy trains. He also works with a typing machine, a skill he has gotten exceptionally good at, which his one-on-one paraprofessional pointed out.
Because of Elim’s staff and resources, Blake has been able to vocalize more. Just recently, while having his photo taken for this edition of the Equip, Blake said “thank you” twice – which excited everyone in the classroom. One year ago, that vocalization would have been less likely to happen, let alone twice, in a span of minutes. This is just another example, out of the many that happen every day, of the blessings the students provide us at Elim.
In the future, Blake’s parents are eager to see his growth continue at Elim, whether it’s through his energy levels stabilizing or becoming more self-sufficient with his communication; they can’t wait to see how much he will succeed.
“Elim has brought out the best in him,” says Scott. “He has more of a mission now in life.” Stories like Blake’s are possible because of the wonderful Elim community who believe in our mission that everyone has value and purpose.
Even though he has only been at Elim for about a year, Blake’s family can already see the growth in his God-given abilities. With his determination to thrive, whether it’s through his interactions with his peers or his vocalization, Blake is flourishing.
It is the Standard of Elim Christian Services to admit children and adults to agency services regardless of race, color, national and ethnic origin, to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to agency service recipients. Elim Christian Services does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered policies. Read Full Disclosure.