Meet Marlene

Marlene DeForrestMarlene is mom to three adult children – two with special needs – one, her youngest daughter, with autism. In order to better facilitate her daughter’s development, she began college at the age of 40.

Education

Marlene earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies focusing on Psychology and autism. She also earned a certificate as a Developmental Disability Specialist.

Marlene conducted and presented the following research studies on autism at Western Psychological Association Conventions:

  • April 2002     Irvine, CA             Autism: Pediatricians’ General Knowledge of                                                             Diagnostic Criteria, Treatment, and Prognosis
  • May 2003      Vancouver, BC      Regressive Autism and Seizure Disorders
  • April 2004     Phoenix, AZ          Autism:  Implications of Conflicting Information                                                       and Interactive Medications
  • July 2004      Honolulu, HI         Autism and Medications:  Use and Abuse

Personal

I love humor. It is a gift from God that has saved my sanity countless times. In fact, I believe God has a great sense of humor Himself. I’ve seen it in the ironies of my life, such as my being an introvert and my daughter, Hannah, who has autism, a social butterfly. Call me crazy if you want to, but I find that really funny!

It was not funny; however, when Hannah was diagnosed with autism and a seizure disorder. My cares and worries for my family and children, as well as my responsibilities, multiplied exponentially.

There were wonderful people to support me, yet I never felt more alone. There were days when my heart cried, “I can’t do all this!” I had no clue that I desperately needed to see – really grasp – the truth of that statement.

Life is the greatest educator. Eighteen years after Hannah was diagnosed, I’ve finally learned that I could not possibly handle everything on my own. I also learned…

I am not on my own……………………………………Jesus carries me daily (Psalm 68:19*)

I am not “the strong one”………………………………I lean on Him (Psalm 125:1*)

I am not helpless………………………………………..The Holy Spirit empowers me                                                                                                 (Acts 1:8*)

I don’t have to have all the answers………………….He teaches me what to do (John                                                                                             14:26)

I don’t have to worry…………………………………….I can rest (Psalm 37:5*)

I am not a victim…………………………………………I am more than a conqueror                                                                                                   (Romans 8:37)

Most of all……………………………………………….I am loved! (Romans 8:38-39*)

I would love to hear from you!