Giving My Testimony

A happy time indeed!

A happy time indeed!

I was given the opportunity to give my Christian Testimony concerning Autism last Tuesday (March 10th) at the Tulsa Women’s Connection #1.  What a joy!  I pray the Lord will take what was shared and use it in a mighty way to His Glory!  I have no way of knowing how it affected those who listened, for I do not know what hurts and burdens they carried in the door with them, nor what their deepest needs are.  But, GOD knows, and by His Holy Spirit…can touch hearts.  They may not even realize as they listen how it is speaking to them, but God promises us that His Word will not return to Him void (Isaiah 55:11)…so it can be ministering to them days afterwards.  The Holy Spirit can bring it to their remembrance (John 14:26).  Sometimes, we get caught up in whether a person attending makes a little check mark that they received Jesus that day and hour.  That would be wonderful and we would surely welcome it…but we have to leave it in Jesus’ hands, trusting Him for the outcome.  I am just happy that I got to share what Jesus can do with a life…even THROUGH THE TRIALS.  I get to do this again in Kansas City, KS on May 18th, and again in Clinton, MO on May 19th.  I pray that hearts are being prepared ahead of time to receive the Gospel, and that lives will be transformed…out of darkness…into the light!

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New Med Working–A Calm Respite

We just had Ben’s yearly staffing meeting on Thursday 2/19/15. They are so organized at the Center where he lives, and had a staff person from every area of his life to tell us how he was doing.  The GOOD NEWS is that he has had 3 good months with no aggressive behavior since he was put on 1.5mg a day of Risperadone (along with MANY prayers).  He DID get to come home for Christmas in that time period and did GREAT! Just had to post this in praise to God for a calm respite for Ben AND for us!

Ben (L), Maureen & John Christmas, 2014

Ben (L), Maureen & John Christmas, 2014

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A Scripture For Encouragement In Dealing With Autism

I read this Scripture again today (from the LIVING BIBLE), and found that I had written dates beside it–claiming it–in 1980, 1984, and again in 1987.  I have continued all through these following years to claim it, and thought it might be of help to you who are also dealing with the problems and heartaches of Autism.  God bless you and your loved ones, and may it speak to you…deep down in your souls!  

Romans 5: 3-5

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials for we know that they are good for us–they help us learn to be patient.  And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady.  Then, when that happens, we are able to hold our heads high no matter what happens and know that all is well, for we know how dearly God loves us, and we feel this warm love everywhere within us because God has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”

In the beginning verses of that chapter (1 & 2) it says, “So now, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith in his promises, we can have real peace with Him because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.  For because of our faith, He has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to actually becoming all that God has had in mind for us to be.”

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Autism — Ben Understood About My Health–By: CNS

Ben & Me--2014

Ben & Me–2014

When Ben was home at Christmas, I honestly told him that I couldn’t do the things with him that we usually do together–i.e. shop, get in and out of the car, and go, go, go, etc. My back hurt too bad.  He seemed to understand fully, and was patient and calm.  We also didn’t keep him at home as long as usual because of my health (6 days instead of 10).  I am full of awe today as I write this…that God is always thinking about us, and cares about everything that concerns us (I Peter 5:7 LB).  I just had to give the Lord another Praise, and speak out in His behalf, because I had a Heart Catheterization test yesterday because of some severe pains in my chest that I had recently experienced.  It was the “definitive” test…as it shows all the chambers of the heart (through dye being inserted through the groin artery), and also checks the rhythms of the heart, etc.  It was quite a procedure, and my back had recently been dealing me havoc because of a severe muscle spasm that required muscle relaxers, pain meds, and prednisone.  I am here to attest to the fact that I made it through the test just fine (in fact, I slept almost ALL the way through it because of some med they gave  me intravenously).  The outcome was what I wanted to share with you…NO BLOCKAGES IN ANY OF MY HEART ARTERIES!  It has been 11 years since an attempted stem-cell transplant failed (in order to “beat” the Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma I had been battling for 6 years before that), so I am proof that we will be here until our allotted time.  The Bible says in Psalms 139:13-16 LB, that God watched us being formed in our mother’s womb, and has our days numbered in His book.  I believe it.  Don’t “squirm” over Doctor’s pronouncements about your health and length of life.  GOD IS IN CONTROL!

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2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,900 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Ben’s Christmas Visit–12/23-28/2014

All the Scott family at the Olive Garden Christmas Eve--2014

All the Scott family at the Olive Garden Christmas Eve–2014

Ben & Jay (my husband) just left this morning to take Ben back to his living facility in Conway, AR…after a Christmas visit of 6 days.  I just had to write and PRAISE THE LORD that Ben (52) got to come home once again (remember when I wondered last July if that would ever be possible again after he got upset and had a behavior incident at home and again, when he got back to his living facility)?  My husband picked him up on Tuesday, Dec. 23rd, and he looked good.  He looked healthy and his eyes were bright.  We didn’t know what to expect because he had been put on Risperadone last July, and I had read about all the possible side effects.  He was calm and peaceful, and we got him cleaned up, trimmed, and he then took a nap (we ALL did).  After supper, we watched TV (ballgames and other shows) together.  The next morning, Ben went to wash the car with his dad, and then had a good nap before the rest of our family came (our older daughter from KC with her 2 daughters, 18 & 20).  Our younger son came too, and we all were able to go to the Olive Garden Restaurant to eat our Christmas dinner together.  Ben loved it and when asked what he wanted to eat…answered, “Sagnia” (lasagna).  We went back home and opened our presents after that.  Our daughter gave Ben a KC Royals Championship Hat, and he put it on and wore it the rest of the evening.  Then, we had brownies with mint/chip ice-cream on them (his favorite).  We didn’t venture clear downtown to Church for the Christmas Eve service like we have in the past because that might have just been TOO much (LOTS of people there).  But, Christ was in our hearts, and we were praising Him for coming to Earth for our Redemption, and also…for the joy of us all being able to be together again.

Ben (L), Maureen & John Christmas, 2014

Ben (L), Maureen & John Christmas, 2014

On Christmas Day, we took it easy and then all enjoyed a time of fellowship around the kitchen table eating chili and hot-dogs…before the rest of the family had to leave to go home.  Ben got up of his own accord to come outside to “see them off!”  I could tell he loved being with them again.  On the day after Christmas, he slept a LOT (more than usual), but I thought it was just that he was worn out from all the activities.  On Saturday, he slept even more, and his eyes looked as though he might have a migraine headache or a sinus infection (he never complains or tells you where he hurts…only goes to sleep).  When we mentioned going to Braum’s (ice-cream and hamburger place) for supper, he perked up though and seemed to feel better the rest of the evening.  Maybe he just had the after-Christmas “let down” like we all do, or was taking advantage of resting in the peacefulness of “home” while he had the chance!  Whatever–I called his living facility this morning after he and Jay left and told them I wanted Ben to go to the clinic tomorrow and be checked…just in case.  I just talked with my husband, and all went well on their trip back to Arkansas (a 4-hour trip each way).  Ben did great and seemed OK about going back.  What a blessing–THANK YOU LORD!  

Ben on Christmas Eve--2014

Ben on Christmas Eve–2014


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IMG_0625I just want to give a “Praise the Lord” about our visit with Ben 2 weeks ago.  We went…not knowing what to expect, or how we would handle what we found (since his last visit in July when he got so upset).  He looked good in his eyes and being, and was calm and peaceful when he greeted me/us with a hug.  We felt confident enough to take him out overnight to a hotel like we always have in the past. I told him that was what we were going to do, and that we would eat at Chili’s and go shopping…just so he’d know what to expect.  At the Hotel, we got him cleaned up (home clothes), trimmed (neckline, ears, nose, etc.), and let him take a nap for a while.  We rested too–from our trip, and the stress the “wondering what might happen” aspect involves.  Then, we set out and went shopping at several stores, ate at Chili’s (he gets chicken fingers, mashed potatoes and gravy, and corn-on-the-cob each time).  Then,  it was back to the hotel to watch the Royals and the Giants in the World Series (Ben likes watching baseball, and we’re from Kansas City)…so that was pleasant and exciting.  Then, it was time for bed and a good rest.  We were blessed to find a hotel that has a 1-bedroom suite…the bedroom separate from the living room…which has a pull out divan for Ben (because he snores…LOUD).  He slept well too, and the next morning, we ate at the hotel, and then took him back to his living unit…having told him that we would come and take him home for a visit at Christmas.  He went on to his room peaceably to hang up his jacket, and we have not gotten any calls to the contrary since then.  I checked with the Social Worker recently, and all was going well. What a relief and blessing! They DID “up” his Risperdal by .5mg. about a month ago, as he was still having problems then.  Whatever happens, it was wonderful to see him doing so well again, and to continue with the pleasant visits we’ve so long enjoyed.  THANK YOU LORD!

The "Colony" where Ben lives...a church in the center, cottages all around

The “Colony” where Ben lives…a church in the center, cottages all around

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Aggression Rears Its Ugly Head–By Carole Norman Scott–7/22/14

Ben & his dad (Jay) in the swing at home.

Ben & his dad (Jay) in the swing at home

Ben is having a really rough time right now…needing restraint, and generally NOT HAPPY! He has to have his big toenail removed next week due to an in-grown toenail and fungus. We need prayer that God will give all concerned wisdom and strength to endure (including peace for Ben). They are checking his Depakote & Tegretol levels, and the Psy. Examiner is going to talk to the Psychiatrist about the Keppra he’s on for seizures too. His hands and arms have tremors and they think one of these might be the culprit. He started the aggressiveness as soon as he went back from his birthday visit (and he was home for 8 days and did SO well).  My husband took him back, and when he was in Ben’s bedroom there putting some things away, Ben came into the room wild-eyed and pushed him (he’s 76), and he thankfully fell across Ben’s bed, but then bumped his head on the cement window sill. Ben has NEVER been aggressive with us or anyone here at home since he moved away so many years ago, but this scares us to bring him home again if he attacked even Jay (husband).  It dazed Jay at the time, and somehow, he was able to get around Ben and leave the living unit, but he had a 4 hour drive ahead of him.  He was pretty “shook up” when he got home (but DID get home safely)!  From Tulsa to Conway, AR…is 4 hours.  He had already driven 4 hours when this happened.  It was a scary experience, and he didn’t see it coming.  He’s had no bad after-effects—PTL!  I’m wondering if Ben somehow later realized what he had done, and is now upset about it, but that may not be the case at all.  I don’t think he pushed Jay because it was Jay…but when he gets in that state…it’s whoever’s in the way, so “WATCH OUT

Oh Lord, this opens a whole new problem…if Ben can’t come home for visits…how will we check on him, and what will become of him. We have been in a grieving mode (again, almost like he’s dead to us)…even yet knowing that GOD is in control, and has a plan that we just can’t see right now. God’s mercies are new every morning. Ben is 52 now, and we wonder if something new is going on in his body that he can’t tell us about. But, how does he stay calm at home if he can’t control it there? We are as puzzled now as we were 38 years ago when he had to move away from home. SO sorry if this is not encouraging to all reading…but it’s what’s happening. He would miss seeing relatives, going places — out to eat (and helping me with grocery shopping and fixing food at home), going to church, to the movies, and just being home and loved, etc. Oh Lord–have mercy on Ben and on all families dealing with autism. It is SO grievous, and SO hard to find the right help. Only YOU know what all it entails, and we beseech You to help us ALL in our hour of need–Hebrews 4:14-16 “For we have not a High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” PS He just may NOT want to be at his Living Facility, but this lets us know for SURE that if we brought him home for long periods of time…we could NOT handle it if he got violent!  He was having trouble BEFORE he came home too!

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Pioneers in the Wilderness of Autism–By: Carole Norman Scott

Hooray! Just had my 16,940th person view my blog (as of January 1st, 2015), and they’ve visited it from 79 different countries! That blesses and astounds me, but I put the Lord in charge of it, and so I give HIM the thanks and the glory!

Ben at age 50.

Ben at age 50.

Living with autism has been quite an experience…one which has brought much sorrow, but thankfully, much joy too! As an adult, our fifty-two year old son Ben, has “mellowed” and reaches out to life in ways we never dared to dream he would or could, back when he was a child…he was so troubled then. He was seemingly “normal” until about the age of two, then began to regress, and soon displayed all the characteristic symptoms of autism.

Ben at age 2.

Ben at age 2.

He was diagnosed at age four. My husband worked at a college, and Ben was able to attend their “lab” pre-school and kindergarten that had many teachers’ aides.  He even had the added advantage of several Psychologists who could observe and work with him. However, even though they tried, they were not able to find the key to get through to him either. He did not relate to the other children or activities as hoped and needed, so was not able to move on in a regular school setting (even though he showed “glimmers” of high intelligence).

Ben's 4th Birthday!

Ben’s 4th Birthday!

From age seven to thirteen, he went to The Bost School for Limited Children in Ft. Smith, AR. He made some progress in almost all areas while there, but at puberty his ”random” upsets became more than we could physically handle, and it was necessary to find him a “home away from home!” That was absolutely the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life, but God turned it to Ben’s good…and to ours.

Ben, 10 years old

Ben, 10 years old

Ben at 14

Ben at 14

He was just home for a week-long visit, and did so well. His visits have always been about every three months, for a week to ten days at a time, and he has remained a vital part of our family all through the years. When Ben was small, my husband said to me, “Maybe he’ll be your comfort in your old age!” At the time, I thought that to be ludicrous, as the future looked so bleak. It turned out that “prophecy” was right and true though. Now, Ben enjoys his visits at home with us, but has a job and routine provided where he lives that is good for him, and that he is used to. He is able to go everywhere with us…to church and choir practice, to the mall, or to visit family. He is also a BIG help, whether washing the car, emptying the dishwasher, running the sweeper, or helping to grocery shop. His presence IS truly comforting!

Ben helping with the trimming of the shrubs. Ben helping with the trimming of the shrubs.

His behavior is exemplary 99 and 9/10 percent of the time, but it is that other tiny fraction of a percent that keeps him needing help and supervision on a full-time basis (along with not being able to fully understand the “nuances” of life). Although he can talk (say and understand words), frustration can “kick in” for him since he is not able to completely put his wants or needs into sentences, or converse …and then it’s “Katy bar the door!” That in particular, is what we still can not handle at home. All in all though, he is a fine, brave man who has done very well with the lot he has been given in life, and we are VERY proud of him!

Ben rolling his cars and watching the wheels go around.

Ben rolling his cars and watching the wheels go around.

At first I questioned God about Ben’s condition, and got downright angry with Him. How could he allow such a thing to happen to an innocent little child? My turmoil built until I was on the verge of a breakdown. (See Christian Testimony Concerning Autism.) It was so hard to observe my little son “slipping away” at the age of two. It was like watching him die right before my very eyes…yet being helpless to stop the onslaught. One minute, he was talking and learning, and the next he was regressing; repeating only what was said to him in a “parrot-like” fashion. One minute, he was playing and relating, and the next, he was rolling his little cars back and forth, watching only the wheels go around; oblivious to us and all his surroundings.Doctors were unfamiliar with even the term “autism” back in 1966, and we ourselves (having never heard of it) delved through many books, trying to understand in even the slightest way what was happening in our lives. Through it all, I came to the place where I turned to the Lord and gave Ben and his malady over to Him. Since that time, God has been my Rock and Fortress through the storm. He has brought positive things about for Ben that NO ONE else could have managed. My heart goes out to all whose children have recently been diagnosed as autistic. There is no more “baffling” condition. I have written MUCH throughout the years that I am glad to share. After all this time, there is one thing I have learned for certain…that in the world’s eyes, Ben may have problems mentally, emotionally, perceptually, and/or relationally, but SPIRITUALLY…he is whole and healed (See “Child’s Spiritual Potential”). He loves to hear about Jesus, and in the whole scope of life…Spiritual healing really is the most important issue!

Please read the other postings listed above (or scroll down), and/or the ones listed on the right, or in the Archives. I think they will be encouraging to those going through all that right now. If you can not cover it all at this time, please come back again. I hope and pray that it all blesses you! The postings and pages are numbered according to chronilogical order in Ben’s life! Numbers 1 through 10 are listed above on the page listings, and #6 is also listed on the right-hand side of the page. #8–”Symptoms of Autism: Characteristics as a Child–Then, as an Adult” would be especially helpful, I believe. It is long because it lists each symptom of autism and comments on it, but you can come back as often as you like in order to finish it.

Carole Norman Scott

Carole Norman Scott

I am a wife of almost 60 years, mother of three and grandmother of two (all pictured below). I enjoy writing, singing, and photography, and am also a speaker for Stonecroft Ministries. There, I share how trusting Christ has helped me in dealing with autism all these years. That story is listed in the right-hand column of this page (“My Christian Testimony Concerning Autism”). I have also spoken at a teacher’s retreat for “The Little Lighthouse”…a school for handicapped children in Tulsa, OK. I told about Ben’s life and times, which involved a first-hand glimpse into autism and all that it entails. I feel my “calling” has been to be available to those in need…whether it be our autistic son, other family members, or friends. I am also a fifteen year Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma cancer survivor (which is now my “other” blog– or

The Scott Family on our 50th Anniversary (L to R) Jay, Ben, Carole, granddaughter Kelly, daughter,Maureen, granddaughter Shannon & son John

The Scott Family on our 50th Anniversary (L to R) Jay, Ben, Carole, granddaughter Kelly, daughter,Maureen, granddaughter Shannon & son John

I would also like to mention the Honeysuckle vine in my header photo. In my “carefree” childhood (or so it now seems), I could smell the honeysuckle outside my open bedroom window wafting its sweet fragrance through the still summer night. The photo serves to remind me of who I once was, and still am deep down inside…BEFORE autism…when I so easily felt the innocence of hope and trust in the future. Never, never lose sight of who you were/are APART from autism…no matter what obstacles appear in your present-day journey! Keep that same hope and faith STRONG today! You are STILL that same YOU!

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Excerpt From My Journal–November 16, 1970–Ben, age 8

It has been a long time since I have written, but our lives have changed again, and this time, I believe it is for the better. We have lived in Ft. Smith, Arkansas for one year now, and it is a real nice town (about 80,000). I love our house, and we have the nicest neighbors we could have hoped for. We only live about 1 1/2 blocks from Maureen’s school, and she says she feels real “at home” there. She has the same teacher for 5th grade that she did for the 4th, and is still making A’s. She is active in Girl Scouts and church activities, so has some social life too. (10 years old)
Ben (autistic) is opening up more and more. He still has a LONG way to go, but every “little” improvement helps SO much. He is going to the Roger Bost School for Limited Children, which is mostly for retarded children, but they have accepted him and are learning to “know” him, and to see his improvements for themselves. He is the only autistic child there that I know of. It means so much to have him ACCEPTED. He gets to ride the school bus to school and back home, and gets to go all-day this year (for the very first time in his life). It has really been a change for me. Ben has been so heartbreaking and frustrating…and yet he is so “special” and challenging. I have almost given up on the theory of a “breakthrough”…and yet his teacher this year, Mrs. Lee, sees what we mean about his seeming potential. We started him two days ago on Dr. Rimland’s mega-vitamin therapy. I hope and pray it helps him!

Ben's Bost School Class--he's on the left.

Ben’s Bost School Class–he’s on the left.

Johnny is quite a boy (age 3). He is the answer to my hopes for a little “middle of the road” child…although I certainly think he is exceptionally bright. He says so many things that I can’t possibly write them all down, and we enjoy him so. He is very loving and good-natured…all boy, but very sweet to go with it. It has been SO good for all of us to see him develop and relate normally, and makes us realize even more what problems Ben has had. Johnny understands and perceives naturally (with no help from us) what Ben has taken days, months and years to percieve. Ben and Johnny relate to each other well (Johnny has never known any different), and that warms our hearts too. Maureen remembers Ben when he COULD play and talk, and she continues to work with him when possible to help “bring him out of it!” I feel SO blessed! Thank you Lord for an answer to our prayers!

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