Dayona Ellis, Founder of Dei’s Care
God is Faithful.
I was first exposed to the world of Autism 15 years ago, when we had first moved to Pennsylvania. I worked as a mental health worker for a summer camp with a BHRS department, serving children with autism. Immediately, I became intrigued by their unique personalities and the umbrella of children diagnosed with Autism with various abilities.
Very quickly, I decided to become a Behavior Specialist; I found working with the children and their families to be extremely rewarding as I watched the children progress and the caregivers learn ways to manage their behavior. But it wasn’t until my very own son was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 3 that my compassion and empathy grew, not just to modify behavior but also to look at these children through the lens of God and their/our Creator.
I began to see how God created them as a parent. Like most parents with children with disabilities and special needs, I experienced grief and loss; my child was not like the “normal” children around him. Shame and embarrassment from my child’s behavior, hopelessness and despair about his future and feelings of inadequacy centered around not being able to meet his needs added themselves to the long list of negative feelings I felt. But when I began reading stories in the bible about the many people God used, transformed and shaped FOR HIS GLORY AND PURPOSE despite their disabilities, I realized that my son, your child, is no different. (click here for the post about it in my BLOG).
These children were fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s image (Psalm 139:14) and God desires for them to be used, purposefully for the advancement of his kingdom and even more so, to know Him! The more I got to know the character of God, the more I understood the character of my son. The more I built my relationship with God, the more I was able to relate to my son. The more I learned about how God responds to our behavior, the more I learned how to respond to my son’s behavior. Not simply to change his behavior, but to change his heart.
Unfortunately, in the corporate world religion and profession can not mix. As I struggled with desiring to pray with my families and give them hope based on God’s Word, I realized that I could not do this as a Behavior Specialist working for a secular agency. I felt lead by God to open up my own business, Dei’s Care Consulting, LLC, in order to have the freedom to “comfort those with the comfort I have been given” (Colossians 1:4).
Dei’s Care is unique in that it offers biblical consultation, therapy and treatment grounded on God’s Word and is not looking to man nor myself, for behavior change. It looks to God for a heart change that will in turn change behavior. Thus, the meaning of its name: “Dei” is the Latin word for God. All of our children are in “God’s Care”.
There’s a familiar passage in the Bible that says “train up a child in the way they should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it”. Proverbs 22:6. While there are many ways to “train a child”, I believe as a Christian my ultimate job is to train up a child as a Child of God. In order to do this, I must use God’s Word, the Christian’s manual, as the primary means of treatment. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2nd Timothy 3:16) and this is what Dei’s Care desires to do. By the Grace of God, our son Jaxon is a living testimony as he is now thriving as a child of God while embracing his Autism! “And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 ESV
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