As many of you know, our son Richard has faced some tremendous challenges in his young life. He was diagnosed in 7th grade with anxiety disorder and O.C.D. Real, full blown OCD, not the kind everyone jokes about like, "Oh, that must be my OCD making me do that...". O.C.D. is no laughing matter. We sunk in to the depths of it all through Jr. High and into High School. He was teased and bullied unmercifully by kids who were from good families and knew better. Why do children do that to each other? Why do they pick on the perceived "weak one" like chicken pecking the sick hen to death. My sweet boy got to a point where he wondered why any of it was worth it. It frightened me terribly. After much prayer and some good therapy, as well as his maturing and understanding better what was happening inside of himself, he has done very well at mastering the awful impulses that haunt him.
School was a nightmare. He had such a hard time focusing and learned to avoid assignments and studying to avoid the stress. (We are still working on that one!) He is a very intelligent guy, brilliant in sciences and things like that. He can tell you pretty much all about the solar system and how things happen out there. He knows a lot! Making it come out in written word and on tests is another matter. We were getting nowhere at American Fork High School with the counseling department there. He was being lost in the system. We took him out and enrolled him at Lone Peak High where my husband's friends and colleagues promised to, "not let him fail." Through much patience and diligence on their parts, and through some credit recovery on Electronic High School he has completed the requirements for his high school diploma! I wondered for awhile if it would happen. The same issues with getting assignments done in school were also issues online. It didn't help that the E-high school teachers were on strike for 6 months either.
The day after we returned from vacation Richard got a call early in the morning from Debbie Wahlin, his resource counselor, telling him to come on over and pick up his diploma! When Richard told me I threw an armful of laundry into the air and threw my arms around him! We hugged and hugged and I cried a bit. It has been a long, hard journey. I am proud of my son. He is a good man and has a lifetime ahead of him to bless
others with his wonderful kindness and love!
Here is Richard and his Dad with Debbie Wahlin.
She was so instrumental in this day and we owe her so much! She is what the education process is all about, patient as the day is long, and so encouraging and positive with our son.
This is Jolynn Wright, one of Richard's teachers. She is an amazing teacher who took time with him and helped him make friends at a new school. When we entered her room last Monday to thank her, it was the end of a long day. She was very emotional already and started to cry as Richard showed her his diploma. She said she had just had an experience with a girl that had reminded her why she had become a teacher in the first place. I hope she knows how much we owe her for her hard work and dedication to her students!
Richard, we are so proud of you!