Tuesday, April 30, 2019

#30facesofautism 2019- Day 30

Day 30 – WOW!  When you look back over this past year it has been an amazing year of growth for Baby Girl!  So many new experiences, lost teeth, new skills, changed behaviors, new likes, outgrown dislikes, longer hair, longer legs, louder laughter and bigger smiles.  It is really astounding.  I learn so much from being her Mama and I feel so fortunate that I was blessed with every moment, even the toughest ones.  She has changed me, made me more appreciative of simple things and able to look for joy everywhere.  She reminds me to be happy, happy, happy, and is there any greater gift than that?  #30facesofautism

Monday, April 29, 2019

#30facesofautism 2019 - Day 29

Day 29 – Today I proudly introduce you to Avin’s Tribe.  That is the name of the group text we are all on where the back and forth happens that puts everybody on the same page in the Book of Baby Girl.  “Did she have her medicine today?” “She’s having a great day today!” “Yesterday she told me I was soft and sweet.” “Seems agitated today…” “Ate a plain tortilla shell for lunch today.”  “She just ate half the fruit off my plate and all the ham!!” If I published this running text it could be its own blog!  These are the people she spends a great portion of her waking school days with.  This is her Para (who happens to be the Mama of one of her Big Sissy’s friends growing up) her two Regular Education Teachers (who are the perfect mix of skill and sweetness) and her SUPER crazy FUN Special Education Teacher (who happened to work in her Big Sissy’s third grade classroom and I also taught one of her daughters in Kindergarten).  They picked up right where her dream team from Kindergarten and First Grade left off and have loved and stretched her into a strong Second Grader who is fast approaching her next year with them as a terrific Third Grader.  They have embraced all her quirks and encouraged her strengths with just the right amounts of compassion and structure.  They have tried things, thrown them out when they didn’t work, tried again, taken their time, been patient, celebrated, cried, tried something else, praised, started over, been firm, used another strategy, stood their ground, asked questions, found answers, hugged, LOVED.  I am beyond grateful to know she is in their care each day! #30facesofautism

Sunday, April 28, 2019

#30facesofautism 2019 - Day 28

Day 28 – I’ve talked a lot about the village it takes to help Baby Girl be her best self. She currently has three outstanding therapists who have been working with her for the past couple years.  The amount of growth has been amazing and so much of it can be directly contributed to the hard work and dedication of these three ladies. She works with the Speech/Language Pathologist for Language Therapy twice a week in a small group setting and they work on conversation, vocabulary, appropriate questioning, etc. Her Occupational Therapist sees her twice a week as well, in individual or small group and can provide support in her classroom, they focus mostly on these days on writing letters and numbers with the appropriate spacing.  Her Physical Therapist has been working on core body strength and coordinating extremities so that she can safely move up and down the stairs and throughout the school building, they meet once a week.  I cannot say enough about how important seeking out the help of professionals is for the development of children with delays – IT IS CRITICAL!  These therapies along with caring teachers have made all the difference for Baby Girl. #30facesofautism

Saturday, April 27, 2019

#30facesofautism 2019 - Day 27

Day 27 – Today is really all about Baby Girl’s Big Sissy!  It really has to be because its her Big Sissy’s 22nd birthday!  Their relationship is something I have trouble finding the right words to describe – its as atypical as Baby Girl is.  Even with Sissy being an adult it is still very sisterly in nature.  The little one doesn’t always listen and tries to aggravate the big one, she wants to dress up in her clothes and even hides her stuff.  The cool thing about Sissy though is that no matter what she never, ever loses her cool with Baby Girl, EVER.  She is patient even when it is hard – and just like with us, sometimes it is hard.  She has been a steady partner with us in this journey, a journey where one day she will likely find herself as the lead.  Smart, Funny, Kind, Beautiful, Determined, Loving, Giving.  Lucky us to have someone so extraordinary to lead if one day we cannot.  Lucky, lucky Baby Girl. Happy Birthday Sissy! #30facesofautism

Thursday, April 25, 2019

#30facesofautism 2019 - Day 25

Day 25 – A kid finally told Baby Girl she was weird. It was bound to happen because kids are just rotten that way sometimes. For all I know it has happened before this time and she didn’t notice or didn’t have enough language to express it. Of course, if I hadn’t been paying very close attention I would not have known it happened at all. One night after we got home from school I noticed she was acting out something odd over and over, making a strange face and saying something low, almost under her breath. I hit pause on everything and focused intently on what she was doing and then I heard it, “You are so weird.” I knew better than to draw attention to it and I quickly distracted her. It took a bit of detective work by one of her sweet teachers the next day to discover that it did indeed happen - the culprit fessed up immediately. My brain tells me she had no idea exactly what weird meant in the way it was being used to characterize her.  However, my heart knows there was an understanding of the meaning in that reenactment – the look on her face, in the tone of her voice, even in the way she was carrying her body. #30facesofautism

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

#30facesofautism 2019 - Day 24

Day 24 – Switching things up a bit tonight and asking if there is something your inquiring mind wants to know.  Is there anything about Baby Girl you are curious about?  Do you have any questions about autism?  Is there something I’ve shared you want to know more about?  Is there something you are wondering if we are dealing with?  Ask and ye shall receive an answer. #30facesofautism