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Quiet blessings

By Darcy L. Fargo

Darcy Fargo

August 2, 2023

The Fargo home has been quiet.

Our son, Jake, 16, has been participating in Teen Vision, a two-week leadership program at Camp Guggenheim. For two consecutive weeks, he’s been dropped off at Camp Guggenheim on Sunday and picked up on Friday.

Jake is on the autism spectrum. Jake was completely non-verbal – he had no functional language at all – until he was around 3 years old. We weren’t sure he’d ever talk.

Jake had to apply to and be accepted into the Teen Vision program. He had to ask people to serve as references. He had to prepare to be away from home for three out of four weeks (he goes back to camp as a camper for week 6). He had to overcome nervousness.

When Jake was diagnosed with autism at age 2, I didn’t realize we could be where we are now. Jake is no longer considered an individual in need of special education services. He’s an average student taking a typical high school courseload. He has friends. People are recognizing leadership abilities in him, and he’s getting amazing opportunities to develop those abilities.

I cry happy tears just writing/thinking about it.

I remember when Jake was first diagnosed with autism. I wouldn’t have described any part of the experience as “a blessing.” While I still wish Jake didn’t have some of the struggles he has or has had, I can now see lots of blessings in what we’ve experienced and continue to experience.

In addition to Jake being a blessing in countless ways, we get to celebrate accomplishments that would barely register in other families. I remember being named to leadership activities as a teen. My parents didn’t cry. They were proud of me, but it was different.

I’m not sure why God blessed us in this way. I know other individuals could have the exact same diagnosis, exact same interventions and services, and still have different outcomes. We’re blessed, and we’re so very grateful.

We’re also grateful God gave us this diocese with its amazing youth programs that include even the kids who are a bit different and with its amazing people who support and pray for my son and my family.

While our house is now quiet, we’ll be loudly grateful for the blessings moving forward.

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