Nathan enjoys spending time with his foster mom, Stacy Duff.
â€śHe is a lot of fun and a lot of energy. Heâ€™s so spontaneous because heâ€™s so excited about everything,â€ť Mrs. Duff said.
This 9-year-old boy has severe autism, but continues to overcome many obstacles.
â€śHe can read. He can write. He can add. He can subtract, and we are this close to multiplication,â€ť Mrs. Duff said, holding up two fingers slightly apart.
Although he is difficult to understand at times, with patience and understanding Mrs. Duff said Nathan is able to communicate his needs.
â€śWhen Nathan first came to us, we didnâ€™t even know he had a voice,â€ť she said. â€śWe thought he was deaf and mute because literally nothing would come out of his mouth. The more we work with Nathan and the more the school works with Nathan, he just continues to blossom.â€ť
He also is growing by leaps and bounds.
â€śNathan is a big boy,â€ť Mrs. Duff said. â€śHeâ€™s as tall as I am right now at about 5 feet, but heâ€™s projected to be about 7-foot-5.â€ť
Most of the people in Nathanâ€™s biological family are more than 7 feet tall.
â€śBecause of his stature, heâ€™s real, real clumsy,â€ť Mrs. Duff said. â€śHe falls easily.â€ť
But that doesnâ€™t stop him from being active, she said.
â€śHe loves the trampoline. He loves to play video games,â€ť Mrs. Duff said. â€śHe does help me cook, too. He likes to put the pepperoni and hamburger on top of the homemade pizzas and he likes to set the table because food is a big thing for Nathan.â€ť
Nathan does best with structure and routine. Simple changes in his daily schedule can cause him anxiety. He also needs to be constantly monitored and continue physical and occupational therapy.
The tremendous progress heâ€™s made so far is due, in part, to the special bond he shares with his foster family.
â€śWe love him to pieces,â€ť Mrs. Duff said. â€śMy biological children do, as well as my husband. Thatâ€™s when youâ€™ll get the tears from me because to say how much weâ€™ve learned from Nathan I would never be able to get that from someone without a disability, and thatâ€™s pretty awesome for me.â€ť
And this special boy brings a lot of joy and blessings to those around him.
â€śNathan is a wonderful childâ€ť Mrs. Duff said. â€śI pray that God sends the right family his way because he definitely deserves it â€” and even more so, they do. You wouldnâ€™t believe what you can learn from Nathan.â€ť
To learn more about Nathan, join Gillian Sheridan for her â€śChildren are a Giftâ€ť report, Tuesday night on CBS 19 Ten @ 10. You can also find information on www.cbs19.tv or www.tylerpaper.com . To inquire about an East Texas child waiting to be adopted, call 903-533-4242 or email me at email@example.com.