This is a true story, but names We have changed, and omitted names and places to protect the privacy of those involved.)
Lilly was twenty one years old, deaf, locked up and abused, and places when she became so sick that she could no longer be hidden where her parents had kept her up to this time. The doctor was brought to the house, where he immediately recognized the abusive situation, and notified the authorities. Mercifully, she was taken from her parents and moved to a special home where she was loved and cared for. Her parents were tried and went to prison. Lilly, was sent to a facility for trainable mentally emotionally handicapped adults for assessment. She had no communication skills, and when tested, her I.Q. measured between 6 and 10, which is not trainable. They were about to give up on her, when a caring teacher intervened. “Let me teach her sign language… then re-assess her. What have we got to loose?!” Further he said, “I just want 6 months to try and teach her.”
The challenges for the teacher and the student were many, as you can only imagine. There was much at stake for Lilly, who was crying out for help. ‘Lilly’s’ special classes began and from day one there was progress. ‘Lilly’ was like a sponge, soaking up information. It was like someone had flipped a switch. All he had to do was input the information and she seemed to be able to utilize it.
She began by learning words and their hand signs, objects and their signs, the sign language alphabet, numbers, and on and on. She had started learning and was not going to stop. Daily learning activities were done, using the ‘reverse sequence’ technique to teach ‘personal care’. When he taught her to tie shoe laces, he let her do the last thing, (pull the loops tight). Then he would do all but the next to last two steps plus pull the laces tight, and so on, till she could do it all. The teacher said, “You can teach almost anything by breaking it down into enough steps, and using the reverse sequence technique.”
In six weeks she had learned over 300 word signs, plus hand signs for all the teachers and staff, and helpers, and all the students at the school, as well as how to write the words for the signs.
Within three months her I.Q. was at 120, she was reading at a seventh grade level. After six months, tested for the last time, she was at 160!!!
After 4 years, ‘Lilly’ had graduated from high school. Before she was 30 she had completed her Masters and Doctorate Degree. She had earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education and English, a Masters Degree in Special Education for the hearing impaired.
How many children have been treated as though they were an ‘inconvenience’, ‘in the way’? How many ‘Lillys’ have been crushed?
The people were bringing babies and children to Jesus so He could touch them. His disciples rebuked the people for bringing children, they were ‘in the way’. Jesus rebuked them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these…”(Luke 18:15-17).