Amir struggled to get his autistic son the help he needed. Schools were rejecting his son. And getting him to learn was difficult. Yet Amir knew that “God never makes anything bad.” On a recent episode of the SAT-7 show Speak Up, Amir shares how faith and perseverance changed his son’s future.
School is difficult for all parents. The constant fight to get children to do their homework or to study is a daily struggle. Households in the Middle East are no exception. However, for Amir, getting his son Hatim* into any school in the Middle East was particularly difficult.
Amir was ecstatic when he was given a healthy son. Yet, when Amir sent his son to pre-school he soon learned that Hatim was severely autistic. In the Middle East, this diagnosis often times disqualifies many children from receiving any real education. It results in a life of hardship, struggling to find jobs to support their families.
FIGHTING FOR A MIRACLE
Quitting his job, Amir worked around the clock to get Hatim to learn. He limited the amount of television Hatim was allowed to watch. Amir even took him on long walks and would speak in conversational tones as though Hatim were an adult.
When Hatim reached school-age, his learning difficulties had significantly decreased. But, in an interview with a school, he incorrectly answered all the entrance questions. The school’s headmistress wanted to reject him.
Amir continued to fight tirelessly for his son. Every Saturday, Amir spent six hours in a room devoid of any distractions, working with Hatim on homework. For two and a half years, Amir did this.
“It took Hatim six hours to write the letter A nine times,” Amir recalls.
Among many of the difficulties of the learning process, Hatim couldn’t learn the letter B. Amir got so frustrated and yelled, making Hatim cry.
“I felt bad because I knew that Hatim couldn’t write it. If he could, he would have written it. I drew the letter B on the wall, took him in my arms and danced around the room. As we danced we repeated the letter B and Hatim learned it by heart,” Amir says.
As the school year began his teacher complained of not being able to communicate with Hatim and threatened to get him out of school for not being academically equal to the rest of the students. It wasn’t until Amir invited the teacher to his home that things changed.
Watching Amir speak with the teacher in his home, Hatim saw that his teacher could be trusted. “After a while into the conversation I noticed that Hatim smiled. I realized then that he got the message and that he now trusts his teacher because she is now ‘on his father’s side’,” Amir says.
GOD NEVER MAKES ANYTHING BAD
From that moment on, everything changed. The following Saturday Amir saw a change in his son. They finished in an hour what used to take six hours to complete. “I noticed this change and began to cry… I knew that the Lord would do something great with Hatim. At the end of the week, the teacher called me and praised my son saying he is completely changed. He makes eye contact and concentrates in class like his classmates. He even remembered all the previous month materials.”
In his interview on the popular SAT-7 show “Speak Up,” a program that shows how individuals persevere and overcome difficult situations including war, poverty, and learning disabilities, Amir expressed the miracle that resulted from his faith and perseverance. “God never makes anything bad at all. Autistic children are geniuses. If their parents work on the part in them that requires some effort they can make scientists out of them. Hatim is brilliant with numbers and has a strong memory.”
*Names changed for security