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Curt and Shonda Schilling: The Best Kind of Different

Major League pitcher Curt Schilling and his wife Shonda found their greatest challenge raising their son who has Asperger's Syndrome. Read Transcript


Reporter: FOR 20 YEARS,

MAJOR LEAGUE PITCHER

KURT SHILLING WAS A

FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH.

HE LED THREE

TEAMS TO FOUR WORLD SERIES

APPEARANCES WITH THREE

CHAMPIONSHIPS.

A NOTABLE PERFORMANCE WAS

DURING THE 2004 CHAMPIONSHIP

AGAINST THE NEW YORK YANKS,

WHERE HE PITCHED WITH A

BLOODY SHOCK BECAUSE OF A

TORN TENDON IN HIS ANKLE.

BUT CURT AND HIS WIFE,

SHONDA, WILL TELL YOU THEIR

BIGGEST STRUGGLE WAS AT HOME

WITH THEIR THIRD CHILD,

GRANT.

THE JUMP FROM ONE TO TWO,

AND TWO TO THREE IS LIKE

GOING FROM ONE TO TWO, AND

TWO TO 700.

NOW THERE IS THREE IN THE

HOUSE.

MAN TO MAN DEFENSE NEVER

APPLIES.

THERE IS ALWAYS ONE IN

PLAY.

WE COULDN'T HAVE PICKED A

THIRD ONE -- HE IS A

PING-PONG BALL, RIGHT?

HE IS IN PLAY ALL OF THE

TIME.

Reporter: THREE YEARS

AGO, GRANT WAS DIAGNOSED

WITH ASPERGER'S SYNDROME, A

FORM OF AUTISM, IN WHICH AN

INDIVIDUAL DISPLAYS

ECCENTRIC BEHAVIOR.

BUT FOR THE FIRST SEVEN

YEARS OF HIS LIFE, NEITHER

CURT OR SHONDRA KNEW OF HIS

CONDITION.

Reporter: WHEN DID YOU

BEGIN TO NOTICE THAT NUMBER

THREE WAS A LITTLE

DIFFERENT?

THERE WERE LITTLE THINGS

HE DID WHEN HE WAS LITTLE.

WHEN HE FELL, I COULDN'T

PICK HIM UP AND HUG HIM.

HE WOULD CRY, AND I WOULD

TOUCH HIM AND HE WOULD GO,

STOP, STOP, STOP.

HE WAS INCONSOLABLE.

YOU COULD NOT COMFORT HIM

AT ALL.

Reporter: IN 2000, THE

PHILLIES TRADED CURT, AND

SHONDA HAD TO TAKE CARE OF

IT.

Reporter: HOW DID YOU

FEEL WHEN YOU WANT TO HELP

HIM, AND HE IS PUSHING YOU

AWAY?

I JUST FELT DEFEATED.

I COULDN'T FIGURE OUT HOW I

WAS GOING TO CONNECT AND BE

A MOTHER TO HIM.

BECAUSE I WAS DOING

EVERYTHING IN MY POWER THAT

I KNEW HOW TO BE A LOVING

MOTHER, AND NONE OF IT WAS

WORKING.

Reporter: CURT HELPED

LEAD THE DIAMONDBACKS TO THE

2001 WORLD SERIES.

AND SHORTLY AFTER, THE

SCHILLINGS HAD ANOTHER

ADDITION TO THEIR FAMILY,

OTHER SON.

AND THEN CURT WAS TRADED TO

THE BOSTON RED SOX, BUT BY

THIS TIME GRANT WAS TAKING A

TOLL ON THE MARRIAGE.

IT MADE ME FEEL LIKE A

NOT GOOD MOTHER.

BECAUSE I WOULD CALL HIM ON

THE ROAD AND HE WOULD SAY HE

DOESN'T RESPECT HIM.

YOU NEED TO DISCIPLINE HIM

MORE.

SO WHAT HAPPENED IS I DIDN'T

WANT TO TELL HIM ANYTHING

BECAUSE I DIDN'T WANT TO

HEAR HIS QUICK FIX-ALL WHEN

HE WASN'T HERE TO SEE WHAT I

WAS GOING ON.

I WAS FRUSTRATED BECAUSE

I NEVER GOT THE PHONE CALL

OF WE HAD THE GREATEST DAY

EVER.

I'M LOOKING AT WHAT WE HAVE

AS A LIFE AND THINKING,

WE'RE THE MOST BLESSED,

LUCKY HUMAN BEINGS IN

EXISTENCE.

MAKING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS A

YEARj51 TO PLAY BASEBALL.

WE GET TO TRAVEL AROUND THE

WORLD.

I ONLY HAVE TO WORK SIX

MONTHS A YEAR.

AND EVERY PHONE CALL WAS A

FIGHT, WAS AN ARGUMENT.

Reporter: CURT AND

SHONDA NEEDED ANSWERS.

THEY BELIEVED GRANT HAD

AD/HD AND HAD HIM TESTED.

BUT NOT ONLY WA DID HE TEST

FOR AD/HD, BUT HE TESTED FOR

AUTISM.

I THOUGHT, WE KNOW WAS

AUTISM IS, AND GRANT IS NOT

AUTISTIC.

"RAIN MAN."

AND WHEN I GOT THE AD/HD

DIAGNOSIS, THEN HE SAID, HE

IS ON THE SPECTRUM OF

AUTISM.

I COULDN'T HAVE FELT MORE

NUMB.

Reporter: DID YOU FEEL

BAD ABOUT THAT?

IMMENSE GUILT.

BECAUSE MUCH LIKE SHE SAID,

GRANT WAS GETTING PUNISHED

THINGS THAT HE COULDN'T

UNDERSTAND WHAT HE WAS

GETTING PUNISHED FOR.

Reporter: WITH HELP

FROM THE DOCTOR AND THEIR

FAITH IN CHRIST, THEY BEGAN

TO UNDERSTAND GRANT'S

CONDITION AND LEARNED HOW TO

DEAL WITH IT.

AND TODAY THE SCHILLINGS

HAVE FOUND PEACE.

SHONDA HAS WRITTEN A BOOK

ENTITLED, "THE BEST KIND OF

DIFFERENT," AND THEY HOPE

THEIR STORY WILL HELP BRING

PEACE TO OTHERS WHO MAY HAVE

SIMILAR STRUGGLES.

I REALIZED I HAD TO

CHANGE MY APPROACH.

AND I HAD TO LEARN HOW TO

BRING THE BEST OUT OF

GRANT.

I ABSOLUTELY HAVE MADE

PEACE IN A LOT OF DIFFERENT

WAYS BY UNDERSTANDING THE

LORD WILL NEVER PUT

SOMETHING ON YOUR PLATE YOU

CAN'T HANDLE.

EMBED THIS VIDEO


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