The Notepad: A year of encouragement

Sarah has had a remarkable year!   The teacher and I pass back and forth a spiral notepad to let each other know about what is going on with Sarah.  David and I have seen such a dramatic difference in her and we know it is because of your faithful prayers!  Thank you!!

Here are some excerpts from the teacher (unless specified it is from me) this past year:

October 29: “Sarah had a good day.  We finished (decorating) our pumpkin and she didn’t want to leave its side.  She was so stinken cute!  (Teacher sent me a photo of Sarah doing her school work at the group table-instead of her desk- so she could be next to the pumpkin.)

November 12: “We had an assembly today, “Music around the World.”  Sarah really enjoyed it.  At one point she ran up to the stage and started banging on the drums!!  She waved her arms in the air and shouted, “Bongos!” then she went right back to her seat.  The performer asked everyone to applaud her because she did a great job and she stood up and took a bow!  It was awesome!”

December 2: My note to the teacher: “(This morning) she keeps yelling, ‘Good Morning, Freckles!’ to me (I have freckles).  She thinks she is so funny!  Slept better last night.

Teacher’s reply: “Sarah was in such a good mood.  She talked about you all day. 🙂  She kept saying, “Come on, Mama!  We got to go do the chores!”  Ha Ha.

December 9: Sarah was in a really good mood.  At one point she jumped up from her chair and screamed “Mom!” and rambled on about your beautiful arms. 🙂  Have a good night.

(She loves my arms; I don’t know why!  They are NOT beautiful!!)

December 11: “Sarah did good today.  Just a little sassy when we played bingo-she was cheating!  ha ha”

December 17: “Sarah had a great day. We had winter carnival-lots to do and see.  NO tears or whimpers all day! Not once!  Whoop Whoop!”

January 23: My note to the teacher: “Good night overall.  Screamed last night-hasn’t done that in a long time.  She was mad.”

Teacher’s reply:  “Sarah had a really good day.  I asked her if she screamed last night and she said, “Yes, I screamed in the house.  I’m amazing!”

March 4: “Sarah has been doing a fantastic job here at school.  The Behavior Specialist came to me to ask my opinion about Sarah’s behavior plan, if it is still needed or not.  Sarah is easily redirected and when she does start to cry she takes out the family photo and is happy to see the faces and sings.  The data shows her crying is at a minimal and does not go beyond 15 minutes.  I am surprised if it lasts a minute!  She has only dropped to the floor once for me and does not pick her nose.  She even transitions with ease from one subject to another or room to room without a problem…we are all so very proud of Sarah.”

April 15:  “Sarah had a really good day today.  We went outside for a while and she was practicing her dance moves! You rock, Sarah”

April 23: “Real good day.  Very happy.  She is doing so good.  She used to tell me ‘no’ when I asked her to do laps (they walk the hallways around the school), but now she asks for them!”

May 8:  “Sarah had a great week.  She has been talking a lot about Daddy today.  I asked her if Daddy has pretty hands and arms!  She laughed so hard! 🙂

My reply:  “All weekend she said he did (have pretty hands and arms) and I said, ‘Hey it’s Mother’s Day, not Father’s Day!’ and she would laugh!”

May 19:  “Sarah had a really good day.  One of the boys was having a hard time…and was upset and started to act out.  Sarah said, “Suck it up and be a man!” lol She is so funny!  She was also saying, ‘Time for worky worky, don’t be a turkey.’”

As you can see, Sarah talks a lot more at school than ever before (and much more than she does at home!).  This past year we are seeing such positive behavior that we have not seen in a very long time!

Answer me when I call to You, O my righteous God.  Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer.”  Psalm 4:1

Praising the Lord for His mercy and for answering our prayers for Sarah!  It truly has been a year of encouragement!  Bless you for coming along side us on this journey!  Our hearts are overwhelmed and so deeply grateful that you would pray for Sarah and us!

June Praises and Prayer Requests are under the Praise/Prayer tab at the top of the blog-thank you for your continued prayers!

 

The Big Game

I received word that there is no “Big Game” this year due to our new school building not having the gym size needed for the game. They are trying to find a location for next year.
My friend, Jill W, sent this blog to the principal at Sarah’s school and she wrote back saying that at the sports banquet one of the seniors on the team said his favorite memory of his entire basketball career was playing our team. 🙂 Ahh…touches my heart! Enjoy this story again! Makes me cry!!

Praying for Sarah G

Last spring, my mom and I came to Sarah’s school to see her be a cheerleader at the last basketball game of the year.  Unfortunately, Sarah did not want to participate and screamed and cried the entire time.  I felt bad for her that she wasn’t able to enjoy the festivities but my eyes were drawn to the court and I was transfixed to what I witnessed.

The city’s public high school varsity basketball team was our opponent for this last game.  It was a big game.   The stands were packed with parents from both teams.  Our cheerleaders were lined up on one side of the court, the public high school varsity cheerleaders were on the other.  Then the game started and it quickly became apparent what was happening and my heart melted.

The varsity players with all their talent showed such kindness to our autistic teens.  They did not…

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Sister Love

“Hey, you’re the one who wanted kids.”

That’s not true, we both did, but David teases me as we find all of our free time, like a lot of parents it seems, shuttling our kids to practices and games.  This past Wednesday was no exception.

Jack had a lacrosse game at 5:30, Kendall a lacrosse game at 6:30, both needed to be at their places by 5pm. (Kendall was meeting a friend for extra practice time before she had to be there.)  Jim was going to youth group at church and David would meet me at Jack’s game after work.

What was I going to do with Sarah?

I had no choice but to bring her to Jack’s game.  Thankfully, she found a toothbrush in the car, one of the ones we received from our dentist appointment last week, and she opened up the package and began chewing on the toothbrush.  I don’t know if it was oral sensory thing or that she was bored, but it kept her busy.  When David arrived to Jack’s game, I raced with Sarah to Kendall’s game.

The toothbrush lost its appeal and Sarah was loud; happy, but loud.  She was laughing loudly and repeated phrases that only made sense to her.  She repeated the announcer (or what she thought the announcer said) over and over again.  Kendall’s teammates on the bench turned around and stared.  They laughed and whispered to each other.  I tried to keep Sarah quiet but she thought that was funny and laughed all the more.

It hit me, ‘Am I embarrassing Kendall?’  Kendall was out on the field playing goalie and I wondered if she could hear Sarah.  I bet most of these girls had no idea Kendall has a twin sister or that she is severely autistic.  I didn’t think how Kendall would feel by me bringing Sarah to the game.

It was a tough game.  Kendall’s team was playing their rivals and the other team had a much better record coming into the game.   We hoped it wouldn’t be a blow out and be at least a respectable loss, but amazingly Kendall’s team won!  The team was beyond excited!  The girls, even the coach, couldn’t contain their excitement.  They stormed the field and jumped around Kendall tapping her helmet with their sticks in celebration.

I took Sarah out of the stands and we stood by the fence that surrounded the field.  Kendall came up to us and was beaming with joy.

“Sarah, I am so proud of you that you came!  All my team loves you!  They heard you and think you are so cute.   They said you are our mascot and they want you to come to more games!  I love you, Sarah!!” With that, Kendall leaned across the fence and kissed her sister on the check.  Sarah looked down but a small smile was on her face.

I should have known not to be fearful; they have sister love!!  Kendall loves her sister and has always been so proud of her.  The Lord gave me such a treasure in Kendall!  Her bond with her twin sister is a precious gift, one that has not been spoiled by autism.  In fact, it has only deepened it.

“Dear friends, let us love one another for love comes for God…There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear…” I John 4:7, 18

****May praise/prayer requests are located under the Praise/Prayer tab at the top of the page–Thank you for praying!!