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The New Normal: From Autism to Awesome

The McDermott Family: Christopher, Deborah, Timothy and James. (Click to enlarge)It was a perfect Monday morning when Christopher McDermott held his newborn son, Timothy, for the first time. Although the two had met only moments before, a bond of love was already forming. Christopher wanted only the best for his son, and at that moment, he couldn’t imagine anything that would keep him from it.

Any thoughts Christopher and his wife, Deborah, had of Timothy being a “perfect” baby quickly faded when they discovered that their child was completely inconsolable. “He’d scream and scream as though he was in pain, but the doctors couldn’t find anything wrong with him,” Deborah shared. As new parents, the McDermotts didn’t know what to expect from a newborn, so they just assumed that most children were like Timothy.

Aside from his fussiness, Timothy seemed, to the McDermotts, to be perfectly normal and happy—at least for his first few years. “When Timothy got older, we realized that he wasn’t a happy boy,” said Deborah. “He was very nervous and anxious all the time.”

Timothy and his Dad.
(Click to enlarge)
Problems escalated when Timothy was about nine. He had been homeschooled up to that point because the McDermotts were afraid he would be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder if he was sent to school. “He couldn’t even sit still to eat,” recalled Deborah. “He would run around the table, take a mouthful, then run around the table again."

The McDermott’s second child, James, also proved to be a difficult baby; yet, unlike Timothy, he was happy. “We suddenly realized how different it was to have a child who was bubbly and would look people in the eye,” said Christopher.

Matters became worse for Timothy after James arrived, as his parents had less time to devote to him. The McDermotts enrolled Timothy in a small, specialized school, which they thought could help him. Instead, it only magnified his problems. Timothy began having nightmares about drowning, he lost weight, and he stopped growing. He then started having storms, where insignificant issues would cause him to fall to pieces. Timothy would engage in head-butting doors or the floor, or punching himself as a result of his distress. He also had no coordination, which caused simple things like writing to be a major challenge. The McDermotts had no choice, but to take Timothy out of school and seek professional help.

Deborah and Timothy
(Click to enlarge)
When James was about eighteen months old, he too began having his own issues. “James always had a few odd things [about him], but not enough to cause concern,” recalled Deborah. “But then he stopped talking and communicating, and then he stopped wanting people to look at him…he became bothered with lights, and then he stopped eating his food [if it wasn’t the perfect texture and just right].”

At the suggestion of Timothy’s therapist, the McDermotts also had James evaluated. He was diagnosed with developmental delays, behavioral issues, along with obvious impairments that are on the autistic spectrum. At this point, Timothy had already been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, and now James had the possibility of the same diagnosis. Christopher and Deborah came face-to-face with the reality that, against all odds, they had two children with serious disabilities.

“One day, when I was really down, I turned on Christian programming on television,” recalled Deborah. “Mothers were talking about their kids and proudly showing off their pictures... And it just hit me, what I was really experiencing with my own family. I felt so alone and deserted. I yelled out to God, ‘Why don’t You help us?’ I had been asking Him to help for years, and I was angry. I believed it was God’s fault because I had been taught that He was sovereign. I said, ‘I love my boys so much, and You’re supposed to love them more than me...’ I told Him, ‘I Deborah and James
(Click to enlarge)
would die for my boys.’ He said, ‘I already did.’ I was so stunned that I just shut up.”

Then Deborah continued her conversation with God, “You did die, but what difference does it make in our situation?” God simply replied, “I’ll heal your sons.” Deborah’s faith leapt, and in her heart, she immediately believed that her sons would be okay.

One day as Deborah was praying, her mother, who lives several hours away, phoned to tell her to turn on the Gospel Truth. She immediately tuned in and watched the story of Hannah Terradez, whom God miraculously healed of a life-threatening disease. “As I watched that day, faith rose inside of me,” recalled Deborah. “I thought, Yes, Andrew’s talking about my God!” Christopher looked up Andrew Wommack Ministries on the Internet, and to the McDermotts’ surprise, discovered that Andrew would be in Walsall—a two-hour drive—in two weeks.

Over the next couple of days, Deborah and Christopher diligently researched both AWM and Hannah. They were blessed and amazed by what they learned, and knew in their hearts that this was God’s answer to their cry for help. They also knew that it would take a miracle just to get to Walsall with their two boys, who didn’t do well with car rides or unfamiliar surroundings.

Deborah consoling James.
(Click to enlarge)
To further prepare their hearts, the couple began watching Andrew every day, bought as many of his books as possible and downloaded teachings from Andrew's website. Their faith grew to believe God for what He said they already had. Deborah’s next step was to call Andrew Wommack Ministries of Europe and alert them to their situation. “The woman I spoke with said, ‘If you can’t get them out of the car, we’ll send a prayer team to you.’ Then she prayed in a way that I had never heard before. She was authoritative and thanked God that it was already done. I hung up and thought, This is really going to happen,” Deborah said.

The two weeks leading up to the trip tested the McDermotts’ faith to its limits. Timothy cried with anxiety whenever the trip was mentioned, and when the day came to go, he physically fought getting into the car. But Deborah recited to God His promise and refused to back down. As the family drove, both boys settled in and became calm—even cheerful. The miraculous was already happening.

As an additional step of faith, once the McDermotts arrived at their hotel, they ate next door at the same KFC where Hannah ate right after God healed her. Both boys—who, for their entire lives, were not only severely restricted with what they ate, but also had to have their food prepared in particular ways—ate their fill of popcorn chicken and fries. God continued to answer the family’s prayers with one miracle after Timothy and James have been completely healed. (Click to enlarge)another.

During a break at Andrew's meeting, Deborah and Christopher waited in line with their sons so Andrew could pray for them. The line was long, and before their turn came, Andrew announced that it was time to return to their seats. Completely deflated, Deborah began weeping. She couldn’t leave without Andrew praying for them. Just then, someone grabbed her arm and thrust her right in front of Andrew. That someone was Paul Flanagan, former director of Charis Bible College-West Midlands.

Christopher said, “Deborah quickly told Andrew about our situation, and without hesitation, he simply rebuked autism and commanded healing into our boys. Then he blessed us as a family and thanked God that we would fulfill God’s plan for our lives. He then said something we will never forget: He told us that we were now the parents of normal, healthy children.”

James and Timothy.
(Click to enlarge)
“I remember hearing that as if the whole world went quiet, and it was just these words hanging there,” added Deborah. “For me, it was Jesus talking to me, and it was a promise. I knew Andrew was right. We left and went to McDonald’s, where the boys ate like I’ve never seen them eat before.”

From the first day the McDermotts arrived home, the transformation they witnessed in their sons was remarkable. That night, the entire family experienced their first night of peaceful sleep since the day James was born—five years earlier.

Deborah and Christopher watched in awe of God’s power as James continued to sleep through the night, month after month and year after year. The same miraculous change occurred in Timothy. “It was as if Timothy was covered in scales of autism,” says Christopher, “and over time, those scales were peeled away to reveal the amazing boy that he is today.”

Deborah attributes the miraculous changes in her boy's health to God’s word of healing that He spoke to her and to Andrew’s teaching, which helped her rightly understand God’s will for healing. “When I watched Andrew, he seemed to be talking about the God that I knew… not the other one that everyone else seems to talk about,” explained Deborah.

Mother and son
(Click to enlarge)
Deborah felt that God led her to Andrew’s teachings so He could teach her what she needed to know. For nearly six months Deborah only listened to Andrew, and in that time, her questions were answered. "The teachings that helped me most were Spirit, Soul & Body, You’ve Already Got It, and God Wants You Well. Through these, I finally understood how I had been wrongly taught about the sovereignty of God,” said Deborah. She realized that if she had continued believing incorrectly, her boys would not be healed today because she would’ve thought that their conditions were God’s will for them.

Once Timothy and James were healed, the McDermotts took them both back to their psychologists for another evaluation. Timothy's new diagnosis reads, Timothy is a “neurodevelopmentally typical young man, and the label of Asperger’s syndrome is not applicable.” He was discharged from the doctor’s care. Likewise, James’s official report now reads, “ is clear there has been significant progress over time in all areas associated with the triad of impairment with autism. As a result, the label, Autism Spectrum Disorder, is no longer appropriate for James and should be removed from any documentation in the future that relates to him.”

Father and son
(Click to enlarge)
Deborah and Timothy have begun the CBC correspondence course together and are hoping to one day attend CBC as full-time students. “From there, we’ll see where the Lord guides us,” says Deborah. “But for now, we are gaining a solid foundation through the correspondence course.”

The McDermotts’ present reality and hopes for the future are far removed from how life used to be when Timothy and James were young children. Deborah remembers when she could only imagine a life of normalcy, “I used to dream about all four of us going out to dinner and not worrying about anything… just like a normal family. I used to dream about going to the cinema and eating popcorn and watching a movie together. We had never done these things before. But, just as I had imagined, we went to the cinema, and we bought the popcorn. We are a normal family, and I am the mother of normal, healthy children—just like Andrew said.”

For a more personal look at the McDermott's miracles, be sure to watch the video below.

Adapted from the Healing Journeys article, The New Normal: From Autism to Awesome, originally printed in the Spring/Summer 2013 edition of Andrew Wommack Ministries Gospel Truth magazine.

Reader Comments (23)

Dear AWM,

Is their story going to be on an upcoming "Healing Journey's", or is it already on one? Knowing people who have this situation, it would be so great to have something to hand to them.

Thank you so much for your faithfulness! This strikes to the core of a parent's heart, when children are afflicted, and this story can bring such hope to millions of families. This is why we are partners, because of the wonderful fruit that comes from this ministry!!

Praying for you and Jamie always,

Eleanor Lock

August 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEleanor Lock

Praise God for healing your sons! Hallelujah!
Jesus is our Divine Physician and He says in His Word that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit. The modern day food supply is very contaminated with chemicals, pesticides, GMO's, etc. & there is a lot of information about this on the internet if we research it. God says in His Word that my people perish for lack of knowledge. You may find that what you eat/don't eat affects you & your family's health. It has helped us to change what we eat.. We have found to be an excellent source of information. Many Blessings to you & your family.

August 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterK & G Behrent

My gratitude goes out to AWM for sharing these testimonies.

Christopher and Deborah you have special love and strength which the Lord used to carry you through the difficult years. The decisions you made demonstrate that. Thank you.
You have blessed us much.

Many families face various trials but so few have the love and strength to bring them to a point where Truth is revealed and Grace manifests bringing Victory. My prayer is that the Lord will help us not to block the flow of the Fruit of the Spirit within us. May the fruit ; Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, meekness, gentleness,faith and temperance increase to even a greater flow and manifest in our lives, as we parents face different trials in marriage.


Deborah and Christopher I am so happy for you.

Thank you Jesus for loving us


August 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAntonia Johnson

Love to hear these testimonies of How God has restored this family and the health of their children! I too have a child that I have claimed healing for, for epilepsy and vision. I prayed they would never have to cut on her because of her condition and her vision would be perfect. They have told me for years now every year we go to the eye specialist that they can't give her glasses because her optic nerve is getting stronger and her vision is still improving. I pray she never needs glasses and that she has perfect vision in both eyes. She asked me the other day if she was always going to have to take her seizure medicine, I told her "No". One day she will not have to take it! I believe that by faith! and I plan on continuing to pray til I have no more doubt! God has done many miracles in my life and I give him praise always, because he is so worthy! Thank you for this testimony it strengthens my faith to hear it.! God bless you all!

August 12, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermelissa nicoletti

Praise God. Deborah and Christopher I am so happy for you. Thanks for enduring.
I know that the God that completely healed your sons will heal mine too and the other children that i have come to meet.

He is a Good God

August 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHelen in Kampala

Praise GOD for this commanded healing in Jesus Christ! I have passed this on to a dear friend who has grandsons with autism. Thank you Heavenly Father for you get all the praise and the credit for bringing forth this truth that we've already had all along. Looing forward to purchasing these messages that are life changing for my family and sharing with others. THANK YOU!!!! So happy for this family and their faith. Blessed be the name of the LORD!!!

March 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterApril

As David Ingles sang…(It Is Written)

regardless of physical senses,
the sight of the natural eye,
the hearing of sheer contradiction,
straight from the father of lies

I'll not allow doubt to linger
or take up its lodging in me
I will cast down imaginations
repeating these words faithfully

It is written, they shall recover
It is written , that we were healed
It is written, hold fast your profession
It is written in Gods Written will

It is written , Himself bare our sickness,
It is written , He carried our pain,
At the enemy's lie, IT IS WRITTEN I cry
over and over again…

Thank you Lord!

March 15, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrian jones

Thank you for this testimony. My niece is 7 years old and she has Down syndrome. I shed tears as I read this because I love her so much. God is not a respect or of persons and He loves her more than I could ever do. I believe she is already healed by Jesus' stripes, and healing must manifest in Jesus Name!

May 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSolomon Muya

This is absolutely horrifying and makes me nauseous to read. I am an autistic adult and advocate who works constantly to speak against messages just like this one. Autism IS NOT a disease. It is a disability caused by the fact that we live in a world not set up for autistic people. There is not a thing about me that needs to be "healed" or fixed (as far as autism goes, at least). How would you feel if someone wanted to pray for you to be healed of your gender or your nationality? They are parts of your identity, not diseases. Please listen to the stories of autistic adults. I hope that some of you will take my words seriously and look into the countless stories (no, people like me are not anomalies!) of autistic adults who embrace the way God made them. I am awesome (you got that right)... but I am awesome not despite my autism but BECAUSE of it. My frustration is that none of you WILL open your eyes... you will choose to believe that your children are broken rather than take the leap to inform yourselves and discover the ways in which they are richly blessed.

May 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLydia

Why hasn't God healed my autistic son?

May 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKM


My sister-in-law send me this post.
I wil twirl around in rejoicing for the rest of my life, because
Jesus also healed my son from Asperger Syndrome!
God directed us in such a super-natural way:
Fixing our eyes on the cross - looking away from circumstances & saying only what His Word says over my son!
It also peeled of him through time.
God bless you Timothy & James - your lifes will forever be a testimony of His amazing Power!!

May 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCathrine

Hi Deborah and Christopher

thank you for sharing your testimony o God healing your boys .. I'm from Denmark and just read and watched the video .. and it strengthen my faith in God to heal my son who was diagnosed with autism 3 years ago
so thanks again for your testimony ..
Greetings from a Danish mother.

May 29, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterberit

i am so greatfull to GOD that today I prayed to GOD to show me how is he going to heal my son from Autism and GOD gave me the answer to this story... Andrew Sir ... you are really awesome... I really wish in india I wants to get healed all such children whom I have met so far...Thank you so much to Andrew wommack for releasing healing which Jesus has already made provision for....God bless you timothy and James!

May 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSavita Kamble

Why is everyone thanking jesus and god for healing their kids whereby with this logic he gave these kids these disabilities in the first place - love how these kids parents spent more time "researching" some con artist then they spent on getting their kids the medical and emotional help they needed and their standard of their kids being "cured" was that they ate junk food whoopdeedo

June 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterOdonata

Dear Odonata...quoting from article above..

Once Timothy and James were healed, the McDermotts took them both back to their psychologists for another evaluation. Timothy's new diagnosis reads, Timothy is a “neurodevelopmentally typical young man, and the label of Asperger’s syndrome is not applicable.” He was discharged from the doctor’s care. Likewise, James’s official report now reads, “ is clear there has been significant progress over time in all areas associated with the triad of impairment with autism. As a result, the label, Autism Spectrum Disorder, is no longer appropriate for James and should be removed from any documentation in the future that relates to him.”

Medical professionals who worked with the boys over the years declare they are fully normal now. This goes way beyond the anecdotal evidence you cite of initial change in their eating habits, even as pronounced as it was. Their 'standard ' was the testimony of medical doctors. Any objection to them?

To your question in the first sentence, your logic is very unclear. If a doctor in an ER stabilized a gunshot victim and thus 'healed' them, was he or she responsible for the shooting in the first place??Please elaborate.

June 9, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrian jones


September 16, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterThamar Timothee

were they given vaccines?

February 1, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterwhitedove

I have a son who is 10 years old and diagnosed with severe autism. I have changed my life to devote to help him and he has made progress but recently after several bouts with strep his anxiety and OCD have sky rocketed and my child who was rarely aggressive has become both destructive and aggressive. I've prayed for healing for years. But I need some help. Could Christopher or Deborah reach out to me? Or could I have a meeting with the church to pray for him? Thank you.

March 13, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCindy

Thank you for contacting the ministry! Please email your questions to We will respond to you as soon as possible. God bless!

March 14, 2017 | Registered CommenterSite Admin

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