Early on in his development, Declan began showing signs of not developing properly, and, at 18 months, he was put into early intervention. On January 28, 2016, when Declan was 2 months past his second birthday, he underwent an assessment at UMass Medical Center, and, at that time, he was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, scoring at age levels ranging from 9-16 months on the Mullen Scales of Early Learning. As she sought God for guidance, Declan’s mom, Heather, determined that God was bigger than this diagnosis and her trust was in Jesus. She chose to believe that, as the Bible promises, God was the one who knew the plans for Declan’s life, not the doctor.
Refusing to limit the power of God, Heather would not allow Declan to be treated differently and pushed for him to be challenged. When others would attempt to put limits on Declan and what he could do, Heather refused to accept it, knowing in her heart that God was able. In just under a year after his assessment at UMass, Declan had his three year physical at which his doctor found that he was not only no longer autistic but was in fact gifted! The little boy who a year earlier was unresponsive when addressed by others and muttered only a few words such as “more,” “uh oh,” and “yum” was now interacting wonderfully with his pediatrician – hugging, laughing, counting, talking in both English and Spanish, and evening signing. Though Declan’s early intervention teachers told Heather she was striving for too much in wanting Declan to be bilingual, he’s now learning his third language!