Hang Tight

Taking FlightGavin Cindy and Rusty
by Just Add Kids Founder, Paula Herrmann

Several weeks back I introduced you to the trio of Cindy, Rusty, and Gavin Schultz: a mom, a dog, and a teen with autism. (see JAK Chat: “You Had Me At…Hello!”)

Since our introduction at a special needs resource fair back in April, I’ve hung out with them at Gavin’s R.P.M.(Rapid Prompting Method) Therapy, gone to his horse therapy; worked side by side with Cindy to bring the Kid’s Carnival to life in late July; and followed along with their comings and goings (Brewer games, summer camp, hospital, Auditory Integration Therapy, to the pool, bowling alley, Gentle Worship, and the list goes on) mostly via Facebook. This trio has an amazing social life, of which admittedly, I am a bit jealous!

Cindy exhausts me! Her hard work with A.S.P. and tending to Gavin’s needs inspires me. However, her latest posts/texts/conversations about Gavin concern me. Please READ MORE…

Gavin is non verbal. He can certainly communicate. I see it in his eyes. In hugging and kissing his mom, his dog, and his older sister, Megan. His thoughts and messages are translated through his R.P.M. sessions where he converses with his mom and therapist, Jackie, via a letter board. The conversations are mind blowing. And recently he’s confirmed his mom’s fear that he has been suffering from seizures. Red flags such as behavioral changes with looks of daze and confusion, increase in laying around and not eating as well, prompted the questioning during his weekly session.

Cindy and Gavin 2Rusty and GavinJackie and GavinGavin on horse

Of course, as any mom would be, she’s very concerned and asking for prayers as they seek to find answers and resolution to his issues. One of her friends sent Cindy her thoughts. It’s beautiful and so worth sharing…

 “I was flying a kite today and was just struck how this little boy is like a kite in your hands. Sometimes one of his frame sticks needs to be mended, or maybe his tail has gotten tangled or his fabric has torn and needs to be sewn. Maybe he got tangled up in a tree and you need the help of someone else to get him down again so that you can begin to mend him, like right now with his seizures. Sometimes the winds of life catch him away and he is flying so far away, that you can hardly see him, but you know he is there because you feel that gentle tug on the string that connects the two of you. I know that God has given you the gift of that one tiny string that connects you to him, that is sometimes even invisible yet still there. He is using you in the life of your child as an anchor point to help hold him down so he will never blow away, and I know that Gavin is destined for great things, and that even now God does use his life to bring joy, inspiration, awaken compassion and gifts and other things in so many people. 
There was quite a while during my kite’s flight where my kite was flying directly where the sun was, so I could not even see my kite at all because the sun was so bright! But people for miles around could see it and they were inspired. I think that this is how Gavin is sometimes for you, so have faith that even if he’s tangled in a tree or needs to be mended, or is so far away or right in the Sun and you can’t see him that this is when God is using him as a beacon to shine things to other people of hope, and mercy, and perseverance! The Spirit of God is likened to a wind in the scripture, and it is this wind that does lift up your son!”

I know this to be true. I am one that is touched by this child. I am touched by his mother. And good grief, I am even touch by his dog, Rusty!

I share this story with you, as I have been so blessed to witness unconditional love, such as the love of a dog toward its master, in this triangle….mom, son, and dog. A fire has been lit under me to be part of the solution to raising awareness of Autism and throw my support behind this organization, Autism Solution Pieces. Won’t you consider it too? Do it for Gavin.

Cindy and GavinGavin and Rusty

Stay tuned as we explore our options in future JAK Chat articles. In the meantime, if you know of a family that would benefit from connecting with this organization, please share. Interested in donating or volunteer? Please contact them.

Here’s a link to A.S.P.’s website: http://autismsolutionpieces.com/
Here’s a link to RPM+ for Autism and Other Disabilities, LLC’s website: http://rpmplus.sharepoint.com/Pages/default.aspx

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4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Paula, Thank you for writing such a heartfelt article about Gavin, Rusty, I, our Autism Solution Pieces organization and the other therapies that help our kiddos. You are so sweet. God blesses us with amazing people in our path of life. You Paula are one of those awesome people. ((hugs))

  2. 3

    Aw shucks. Thank you so much for your kind words. 🙂

  3. 4

    Christa said,

    I agree with your post and am so humbled that my prayer is being posted here. It’s such a privilege to know this mother and to see the beauty in the way that she pours out seemingly without end her love, intellect, energy, time, words, deeds into the life of her son. It amazes me to see how her dreams have been shaped by her experiences with autism into a passionate drive to find build up her son and bolster him, and all other autistic children along with him! Cindy is so full of life, she is living out the old adage “what doesn’t kill ya, makes ya stronger!” They’ve “got a tough row to hoe,” as my grandma says, but we know that eventually a softer row will come along in the foundations that she is planting in Gavin and so many others. One day ASP will be a thriving garden with much fruit to nourish many, I know watching this family already nourishes a part of my soul that says “Keep On! You can Do it!! I know you can!”


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