An “Updated” Story of Faith
An “Updated” Story of Faith
- December 31, 2015
- Posted by: LSEM
Faith Sienkiewicz was born a statistic. Diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) shortly after her adoption as an infant, her mother, Melissa, was advised to keep her in a dark room free of stimuli to soothe her. Not willing to accept that life for her daughter, Melissa, her husband, and her two other children embraced Faith and immersed her into their very busy, stimulus-packed lives.
Faith quickly became active in many activities, including gymnastics and piano. A browse through her scrapbook reveals that from an early age, Faith embraced life. Despite her diagnosis, it was evident that Faith had many strengths to build upon. In third grade, Faith was introduced to her LSEM teacher, and the “first” Story of Faith was written. She began working with this LSEM teacher daily to assess her learning needs and develop a plan that would help her be successful in school. While this plan worked and Faith’s learning improved after this intervention, Melissa, a former Lutheran high school guidance counselor, made the decision to home-school Faith starting in fourth grade. Armed with the information gleaned from her own professional experience, as well as seeing the benefits of working one-on-one with the LSEM teacher, Melissa developed a teaching plan that addressed Faith’s learning style while keeping her on track with children in her grade.
Today, Faith is a bright, active 8th grader who is excited to make her Confirmation. While excelling in her studies, homeschooling allows Faith to pursue her other interests and activities, including dance, art, choir, piano, youth group and other church activities with her friends. She looks forward to the challenges of high school and enjoying all the social events and educational opportunities that her home- school co-op offers.
Faith’s mother continues to oversee her learning and be her primary teacher, utilizing a math tutor for reinforcement and the co-op for foreign language and subject supplementation. She has researched appropriate textbook and materials that compliment Faith’s learning style without compromising content. It goes without saying that Melissa’s skills and ability to connect with like-minded families is now her ministry, and her passion has helped her to redefine the diagnosis that Faith was given at birth. This is reflected in her family’s motto, “We have redefined FASD: Faith, Attitude, Strength, and Determination. To God alone be all the glory!” Faith’s mom states,” I am so proud of my daughter. She may have this diagnosis, but it does not define her. She has a “stick-to-it-ness” as her math tutor says. She has a drive to succeed, and with God ALL things are possible. We live by faith!”
Faith and Melissa continue to support LSEM and the Lutheran school system. They recently approached LSEM to do a full testing assessment on Faith before she enters high school. Melissa believes that LSEM programs and services could be a great resource for homeschooled children and families, especially as more and more parents choose to home-school children with specialized learning needs. To learn more about how LSEM may help your family, please contact us at email@example.com.