Ability Tree Inc. was formed as a non-profit in June 2010 but the vision & mission had been brewing in the hearts of Joe & Jen Butler for some time.
“I never really noticed people until my son Micah was born.”
At 9 months old, Micah was diagnosed with developmental delays. He received various therapies 7-8 times a week. At 2 1/2 years old, Micah had a seizure and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Micah started walking at 4 years of age. Then at the age of 6 years old, after enduring a series of tests, Micah was diagnosed with autism.
Micah worked very hard the first few years of his life to accomplish certain tasks that came “natural” to most children his age. Joe, Jen and Micah’s older and younger sister also endured many long, draining days and worrisome, sleepless nights during the first few years of Micah’s life. But they also gained a new perspective on life. The most important lesson the Butlers learned was to notice and value people.
When Micah was 2 1/2, right after he had his seizure, the doctors told Joe & Jen that they weren’t sure what Micah was going to be like as he grew up. Whether he would be able to walk, or talk in complete sentences, or live on his own one day. Joe and Jen are thankful for the doctors, therapists and teachers, but their hope and faith is found in God. Without faith in Jesus Christ, Joe and Jen would not have been able to face and continue to face life’s daily challenges, especially as a family impacted by special needs.
Families with children with special needs face challenges above and beyond what typical families face on a daily basis.
According to the 2000 Census, there are 54 million Americans living with a disability and close to 9 million are under the age of 15! Ultimately, living with a child with a disability can have profound effects on the entire family–parents, siblings, and extended family members.
This Is Why
This is why we started Ability Tree Inc. To help grow able families and accessible organizations by providing R.E.S.T. (recreation, education, support & training). The greatest source of rest is found in God. The Word of God says “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).We hope that you find this rest today.