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A Life of Persistence, Joy and Promise
October 6, 2012
Scottie Lutz performing his Manager duties
Tribune Photo/Jeremy Flowers
By Mary Pechar
When Scottie Lutz was three, the experts said he would never read or even talk. That was when Scott and Karen Lutz decided with unwavering purpose that Scottie deserved to live a life of joy and promise, and they would ensure it happened.
14 years later that promise is evident in all aspects of Scottie’s life. Scottie is in 10th grade at Lee’s Summit West. He is Autistic having a spectrum disorder at the lower end of the spectrum.
And for Scottie there is Joy and Promise…
Scottie is a member of this year’s homecoming court, one of two sophomore boys and two sophomore girls voted by their classmates to receive that honor. He is very excited to receive the honor, but was concerned that it could interfere with his responsibilities as Manager of the LS West Titans Varsity Football Team.
“The teachers did a good job of positioning the honor asking students, who would appreciate the recognition, who makes an impact in the school community,” said Dad, Scott Lutz. “Receiving recognition that his peers respect and like him is very important to Scottie.”
It proved to be an exciting week, riding in a convertible at Thursday’s parade. Then being introduced at the Friday Pep Assembly. Scottie asked his sister Madison and friend Danielle Sharp to be his escorts, choosing the theme ‘Men in Black’. He also reached a compromise to balance the honor and his responsibilities during the football game. Scottie watched the first half in his suit from the stands and after being escorted onto the field by his parents, he changed into his Manager’s uniform and joined the team for the second half.
Besides serving as Manager for the JV and Varsity Football teams, Scottie lettered in Men’s Choir his freshman year and in addition to Choir plans to tryout for the high school musical and perhaps this fall’s play.
His parents are quick to give credit elsewhere for all Scottie has accomplished.
“Being mainstreamed has been so important,” said his father, Scott. “Other kids are much more accepting of kids with special needs once they get to know them. The school district and teachers have done a wonderful job”
Scottie is very social as compared to some kids on the spectrum. He is not quite as withdrawn, very caring and relates well to other students. He has worked hard to learn how to socialize and communicate. What is humorous and not. Mainstreaming has been a tremendous help to the process comment both of his parents.
Scottie has a communication disorder so for English, he attends a special reading class, but for Science, Math and World History he is mainstreamed. In Biology absolutely no modifications have been made to accommodate Scottie. On the most recent Missouri state standardized tests he rated ‘proficient’.
That Scottie understands the material is a tribute to both Scottie’s perseverance and the school district that allows him to be successful. “He is a good soul and very open,” said his mother, Karen Lutz. “He sees where he has been and where he has come. In 6th grade Scottie performed a Garth Brooks song in the Talent Contest. In 8th grade, he tried out for the musical and even went beyond singing to perform a dance. With these experiences and Men’s Choir in middle school it was critically important to him to be able to take Men’s Choir in high school. As a freshman, Men’s Choir and Math were at the same hour. In order to keep Choir Scottie was permitted to take algebra/geometry where he persisted and did well.”
Scottie is all about persistence.
In testing for his drivers permit this summer, he tried and tried again until he became well known at the licensing bureau. Dad kept telling him to use the head phones and listen to the questions. Once Scottie did, he immediately scored 100%.
Head Football Coach, Royce Boehm believes in “special stuff for special people” and Scottie was offered the position as team manager. As they discussed the various responsibilities available to him such as keeping statistics, Scottie said, “I just want to be the best water dude LSW has ever had” He eats with the team, travels with the team and this summer got up at 5:00 am football camp.
“Mainstreaming works,” said Karen. “Their peers get it when they are a part of their classroom and school activities.”
The Lutz’ give equal credit to the Boy Scouts.
Scottie is a Life Scout and very active in his Boy Scout Troop 264.
“Boy Scouts is the single most important factor in his growth,” said Scott. “He has been with the same bunch of kids who have accepted him, protected and looked out for him.”
Scotties first year at the 10 day scout camp; he earned seven new badges including the tough one, swimming. He came back more confident and out going. When the next school year started, teachers wanted to know what his parents had done to him.
He had succeeded at normal kinds of challenges. The standards and expectations were never lowered for him, He may have gotten a second or third chance at times, but he accomplished exactly what every other scout with the same badge accomplished to earn it. Scottie’s next goal is to become an Eagle Scout and with his persistence, he will.
As parents of a special needs child, Scott and Karen are well aware of the toll it can take on a marriage. Divorce rates among parents of Special Needs children have been quoted as high as 85 to 90%. While current studies focus on disproving the extremely high rate, there is no questioning the stress involved.
Both Scott and Karen separately credit each other with keeping their marriage strong. They have consistently taken care of business within their family.
At times that meant separate vacations with Karen attending dance camps with their two daughters while Scott took Scottie on the Boy Scouts 10 day camp. Each and every day, they do everything within their power to ensure that Scottie and his sisters live a life full of promise and joy.
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