Mother Refuses to Accept Autism Diagnosis
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Roman says, “And after I practice the song a couple times, I’m able to play it.”
At just 11 years old Roman Scott is a gifted pianist. Ricardo Matthew his piano teacher agrees.
Ricardo Matthew says, “The talent that Roman has is a God given talent.”
Perhaps what’s even more amazing is that for three years of his life Roman struggled with PPD - pervasive developmental delay - a form of autism. His parents, Tom and Elizabeth realized something wasn’t right when Roman was 14 months old. Besides his inability to talk they had other concerns.
Elizabeth recalls, “He constantly choked on food. He rolled his hands around in circles and he fixated on ceiling fans, flags, and lights. And he started running laps around our family room, a lot of laps.”
Elizabeth took roman to Dr. Jacqueline Longshaw, a pediatrician at the pediatric southwest clinic in Desoto Texas. Roman was now 18 months old.
Dr. Longshaw remembers, “Roman was not really talking and he was very defensive about being touched. And so initially I had a lot of concerns about Roman’s ability to get better.”
Elizabeth shares, “When they said the word ‘autism’, I was terrified. And I was devastated. That is a cup that I just did not want to bear. Because I knew how difficult that could be.”
Tom recalls, “My first reaction was of concern. But at the same time, at the back of my mind there was a calming feeling that somehow, after time, that Roman would outgrow it.”
Elizabeth and Tom began praying daily for God to heal their son.
Elizabeth says, “I was praying to God and asking Him, please, please help me with this. And please help my son to get better.”
Tom says, “It was something that was bigger than me and bigger than my family could solve. And I was just prayerful that God would handle it.”
Meanwhile, Roman needed full time speech and occupational therapy. The insurance didn’t cover the 80 - 100 thousand dollars a year it would cost. So Elizabeth quit her job and with the guidance from a therapist she began working with her son 10 hours a day. She developed 90 different activities to help Roman with his motor and sensory skills. It was a daunting task.
Elizabeth recalls, “I would tell him, you have to do this, and he would tantrum and I would stand over him in time out. And there were days I just have had it. I just did feel I was going to give up.”
With each passing day, Roman started to overcome his challenges. Elizabeth continued to pray everyday. After two ½ years, almost all of his symptoms were gone and it seemed that Roman would be symptom free. Then, without warning, he had the worst tantrum he had ever had. Over the next four days he couldn’t be consoled.
Elizabeth remembers, “And he was like, don’t touch me, don’t touch me, I can’t –I can’t—don’t you, you know. And he was just crying and screaming. I just thought that was the end. I thought we had lost him for good. And I said, why now? He’s almost there. He was almost healed. And that really brought me to my knees and I was terrified.”
She totally surrendered everything to God including the possibility of her son never getting healed.
Elizabeth recalls, “And I said, Lord, whatever be Your will. Help me to learn to live a new life if this is the life that You have for him. And I will love him, but help me to accept it.”
Roman eventually calmed down and Elizabeth resumed working with him. Then on his fourth birthday she and her husband took him to the doctor where they heard the news they had been waiting for, Roman had no more signs of autism.
Elizabeth says, “I remember just crying in the car. I said, so this is it, he’s finished, you know, you need no more therapies. That’s something only God can do. Only God can heal like that.”
It’s been 8 years since Roman was first diagnosed. Today, he’s still symptom free.
Dr. Longshaw says, “He had 45 different symptoms and after 3 years of intensive therapy, with no medication, Roman was symptom free. Looking at Roman today, no one would diagnosis him with autism.”
Roman has excelled in every area doctors thought he would never excel in. In fact, he’s in the talented and gifted program in public school and is at the top 5% of his class. His favorite subject is technology.
Romans says, “In our technology club, we take apart computers, reconfigure it and refurbish them.”
Dean Alan Anderson of Summit International Prepatory school had this to say, “Immediately, upon meeting him, I knew that he was something special. So Roman is a straight A student. He is very cordial, very friendly with me, with his classmates.”
Elizabeth and Tom believe their son’s healing is a medical miracle. They know the things that played the most important part in Roman’s recovery was prayer and trusting God to do the impossible. Elizabeth has written a book and a companion guide of activities she taught her son during his journey of healing.
Tom says, “Today when I look at Roman, he’s everything that I could ever imagine, and more, you know. He has surpassed all of my hopes and dreams.”
Roman says, “It’s really rare having a child recover from autism. Especially autism that was as severe as mine. Only God could do such an awesome thing.”
Elizabeth says, “Even though people don’t think it’s possible. With Christ all things are possible. And I am eternally grateful and so thankful for what he’s done.”
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