Not Alone: Jason and Lindsay

March 10, 2014

Not Alone

What’s Our Story?

When our son JD turned two, he was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Sensory Processing Disorder. Since then he’s spent countless hours in behavioral, speech, occupational and social therapy.  In the two and a half years since his diagnosis, JD has come so far! He was non-verbal before and can now communicate his needs through language. He was unable to jump, run, slide, swing and is now fully caught up on his gross motor skills. His sensory, behavior and social issues continue to be challenge, but they’re much more manageable now. Our family knows the journey won’t be easy, but with family, friends and a supportive church community behind us, we can make it.

Family Member Names & Ages

  • Jason, 33
  • Lindsay, 31
  • Ashley, 5
  • JD, 4
  • Kyle, 2

How We Found First Baptist Orlando?

After JD was diagnosed in 2010, my husband and I really had a hard time. We jumped right into therapies and were fortunate enough to have an extended family that supported us and helped in any way possible. However, as the months (and years) went on, we found ourselves constantly up at night discussing why this would happen to our little boy. Having a child with a disability or special need really rocks you to the core. About a year ago, Jason and I talked one night and said that we really felt disconnected spiritually and that we should try to get back to church, something we had given up after being sent home time and time again when he was in Sunday care at our old church. I did a google search for “special needs ministry Orlando” and right away the Special Friends link showed up. It sounded amazing and I called Mike (the Program Director) to ask him if we could give it a try and he of course welcomed us with open arms. Ever since the first day we knew it was a fit. It was like our whole family found a new home.

What We Like About First Baptist Orlando

There are so many things we like about FBO. Everyone is so friendly and helpful. The first day we arrived I was really nervous because it’s such a big church. We checked in at Welcome Center A and a volunteer walked us and the kids to their classrooms. It was so nice to have someone to help guide the way. We love the worship services – Pastor David is amazing! Every time I hear a sermon, I think it’s the best one yet. Then I show up the next Sunday and it’s even better. He has a true gift of sharing God’s word and helping apply it to your life. Finally of course we love the Special Friends Ministry. Without it we couldn’t be here. The volunteers are amazing and really get to know each child as an individual. Getting to know the other parents in the class is also wonderful because they understand and live the same life!

How Has Being Able to Participate in Worship/Life Groups Changed My Life?

Being able to participate in worship has been life-changing. When I enter the church on Sunday and start singing the songs of praise, it’s like all of the stress in my body just washes away. For an hour and a half, I can really focus on what’s important – His love. Without the Special Friends Ministry, I don’t think we would be able to do that. Even if I hired a babysitter to come to church, I would sit there worried about the kids, or feeling guilty for spending time away from them. Having this Life Group allows our entire family to praise Him together, the way it should be. A few weeks ago my daughter looked up at me when we were walking to her classroom and said, “Mommy, I can’t wait to hear the Bible story for the day” and right then and there I knew He was with us.

Favorite Bible Verse

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9

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About Michael Woods

Christ-follower, husband, chocoholic, and peanut-butter lover! I'm a father to triplet boys...each on the autism spectrum.

View all posts by Michael Woods


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