Boy, full of fun, blossoming with patience and love

Published on Sunday, 31 August 2014 01:27 - Written by Gillian Sheridan,

Nathan enjoys spending time with his foster mom, Stacy Duff.

“He is a lot of fun and a lot of energy. He’s so spontaneous because he’s so excited about everything,” Mrs. Duff said.

This 9-year-old boy has severe autism, but continues to overcome many obstacles.

“He can read. He can write. He can add. He can subtract, and we are this close to multiplication,” 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.

“When Nathan first came to us, we didn’t even know he had a voice,” she said. “We 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.”

He also is growing by leaps and bounds.

“Nathan is a big boy,” Mrs. Duff said. “He’s as tall as I am right now at about 5 feet, but he’s projected to be about 7-foot-5.”

Most of the people in Nathan’s biological family are more than 7 feet tall.

“Because of his stature, he’s real, real clumsy,” Mrs. Duff said. “He falls easily.”

But that doesn’t stop him from being active, she said.

“He loves the trampoline. He loves to play video games,” Mrs. Duff said. “He 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.”

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 he’s made so far is due, in part, to the special bond he shares with his foster family.

“We love him to pieces,” Mrs. Duff said. “My biological children do, as well as my husband. That’s when you’ll get the tears from me because to say how much we’ve learned from Nathan I would never be able to get that from someone without a disability, and that’s pretty awesome for me.”

And this special boy brings a lot of joy and blessings to those around him.

“Nathan is a wonderful child” Mrs. Duff said. “I pray that God sends the right family his way because he definitely deserves it — and even more so, they do. You wouldn’t believe what you can learn from Nathan.”

To learn more about Nathan, join Gillian Sheridan for her “Children are a Gift” report, Tuesday night on CBS 19 Ten @ 10. You can also find information on or . To inquire about an East Texas child waiting to be adopted, call 903-533-4242 or email me at