Alex Molden’s Story
Micah was born 6 weeks early, arriving on December 19th as an early Christmas present to our family. Our third son, he was instantly spoiled and never put down. Although small, he proved to be very healthy, leaving the hospital with me after the usual stay.
As he grew, we enjoyed his easygoing personality, and cheerful disposition. He slept through the night at an early age and was a very content baby. By the time he was 4 months old we noticed that he was having some problems with strabismus (eyes not lining up properly), and after several months of eye patching, he had his first eye surgery at one year of age. He would go on to have several other eye surgeries as his muscles struggled to maintain proper alignment.
Micah, being a preemie, was on the slower end of the developmental scale. He didn’t walk until he was 17 months old. He didn’t speak clearly until he was much older than the typical toddler. Concerned, we enrolled him in speech therapy at the age of 2. He worked hard to communicate in other ways, not being able to depend on verbal communication until Kindergarten. During this time we were struggling with labeling what exactly Micah’s diagnosis should be. We knew that he was developing differently than our other two boys, but he was still (barely) within the “normal” pediatric parameters. Time and time again we sought answers from different specialists, only to be told that a typical diagnosis didn’t fit Micah, but that it could be a variety of different things. One of the appointments I remember vividly was with a pediatric specialist that told me that he most likely had cerebral palsy, that he would not be able to participate in a “regular” classroom, and that he would need intervention throughout his life. We were determined to uncover the best Micah that we could find.
Once Micah began school, we were blessed with a strong support group and a thorough IEP. We live in a fairly affluent neighborhood with good schools, and this is reflected in the support he receives. He continued speech therapy throughout grade school as well as physical and occupational therapy. We saw Micah catching up. We saw him improving, but there were still marked differences. He was clumsy. He had a significant speech impediment. He struggled immensely with small motor tasks. His eyes remained an issue.
Finally we were introduced to the world of dyspraxia and things began to make sense. Micah is very smart, that has never been the issue- the issue is in the way he gets this intelligence out of his brain and applies it in his life. He can be very motivated and absolutely shock people, or he can be very lazy and take advantage of how people initially perceive him. As he is getting older and more mature, he is choosing to challenge himself with the best he can do.
With a retired NFL player as a father, and seven other siblings that are very proficient in athletics, Micah has had to pave his own path. We have created opportunities for him to be involved in team sports, without actually participating in the playing portion. He is the best ball boy for our Varsity football team that you have ever seen. This allows him the advantages of sport, without creating opportunities for failure or inadequacy. Despite his father’s accomplishments, or the accolades of his siblings- Micah is the famous one in the family. He is often referred to as “The Mayor”, as he knows everyone and is friendly beyond measure!
We aren’t sure what Micah’s future holds, but we are sure of this- he will be successful and he will embrace what dyspraxia has created within him. He has to work harder than any of our other children, to accomplish the same things, and for this, we are unbelievably proud. His will is mighty and his ambition is great- he will prove that dyspraxia does not need to define you- but actually, it can ENHANCE you. Different is interesting, different is cool, and different keeps things from being boring. Micah Molden is different, and we are so thankful for every one of his differences.