Friday, June 6, 2014

A great feeling

I have to say time has healed our woundsWhen we started this school year for Hannah, I was hopefully optimistic! I really believed something had to give and things would get better for her. I have to say for the 1st time since she entered the public school system 4 years ago, (age 3) we had an awesome year! You have no idea how good that makes me feel to say!  Hannah's teacher has honestly taken a vested interest in her, she has taken the time to understand how Hannah learns , what works for her and what doesn't. She has taken the time to get to know Hannah, her likes and dislikes, what makes her tick. This is the first year her teach has told me what an awesome ,neat, fun, sweet kid I have. It was so refreshing! It makes me happy, because I know how great she is. Hannah can be a challenge , but what 7 yr old with SPD isn't challenging at times? What 7 year with social and emotional delays isn't challenging from time to time? What typical 7 year old isn't challenging from time to time? As a teach of children with special needs you need to understand these challenges and deal with them the way the child needs you to deal with them. Her teacher has taken the time to figure out how to deal with those challenges!  
Hannah with her teacher and 2 aids

This year we have made a few pretty big "breakthroughs", 1st off Hannah actually started to make friends, she started to let down the wall she build up to protect herself from those who weren't nice to her! She has started to play in a group, instead of alone.  She has leaned there is not longer a need to be aggressive ,There are better way to handle her self beside hitting, kicking,or pinching. She has made such great advances. The 1st grading period of school she had an average 24 aggressive behaviors a week down to about 6.5 by the 2nd grading period. By March of this year she was down to 1.5 per week. This made me so very happy, we are getting close to getting our sweet, mild mannered little girl back!!! Her academics have soared, she is now almost on grade level. Her speech/ language has improved a ton!! There is a new excitement to learn new things and she once again loves school!! I'm looking forward to all the great thing to come for Hannah, I am excited to watch her grow and lean more and more each year. I am so very thankful we have found a place for Hannah, a place that except her for who she is and loves her almost as much as we do!  I am so thankful for all we have gone through (although at times I honestly thought I would lose my mind ) because on the other side there was was hope, encouragement and kindness. We landing in a place that I could have only dreamed of a year ago. We joined a school that honestly care for every student regardless of their ability. We have found a home for the next 4 years and I am so very thankful.

Saturday, May 17, 2014


So we went to the eye doctor yesterday, and the time has come for Hannah to get glasses, we knew she would need them , we just weren't sure when (everyone in my family wears them) . My hubby and I both have horrible vision so we have made sure to keep up with eye exams. her vision isn't that bad, she is far sighted unlike me , I'm blind as a bat with out contacts or glasses.  When it came time to try on glasses Hannah did pretty well but turned out there weren't any that fit her just right so we chose to go elsewhere. Well today was the day we were going to go and pick out Hannah's new glasses and get them ordered, with in 10 minutes in the store she had chosen 29 pairs she liked... Yeah it gets better!!! Then as we start to try said glasses on she begins the rejection process , I tend to play by Hannah's rules to prevent any unnecessary drama however that back fired today, as she rejected the  first 20 within 2 seconds of  trying them on, she started to lose the enthusiasm she had when the adventure started. By pair 25 she was crying and yelling " no glasses for Hannah , I don't want any"  so I let her cry and pout for a few minutes on the floor of a crowned large eye glass chain before stepping up and being the one in charge of the "game"!!! I stood her up, gave her 3 choices (to which she said no too all three) then I narrowed it down to one pink pair and one purple pair! She wasn't happy about it but she chose the purple pair. There are things Hannah doesn't like and trying something new is one of those things. Once the glasses were chosen, we went to the counter to get measurements and she did really well. Then the sales person asked Hannah to put on her new glasses so she could see how they fit, once again the tears started and it really wasn't pleasant.but after a few ooooo's and awwwe's she came around and started to look at her new self in her new glasses. This is just another part of the journey. This is just another hurdle we will over come and another adventure we will laugh about later in life.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Some days

There are some days I forget Hannah is a kid with special needs and then there are days it states me in the faces . And honestly I get very overwhelmed.. I get upset with my self when I get upset with her because I know there are emotions she doesn't understand, and she is not able to deal with them... Today was one of those days and my patients was super thin and we had a lot of ups and downs. I love my daughter and her disability is  part of her but honestly I hate the fact I am unable to help her deal with the emotions she is feeling at times.. Days like today make me sad and even though I know there are many parents dealing with it I feel very alone and unequipped to deal with her.  She was very moody today she went from playing in the sand box to swinging to crying and screaming all in about 30 mins then back to being calm reading books to being upset (crying) she couldn't watch TV . These are the days a special needs mom looks forward to bed time Separation anxiety and social/ emotional delays are exhausting. But I know that it will get better and we will both grow and learn to cope together. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A new friend

I run 4 Is a "movement" that I have to say is a great movement! Tim Boyle  (Founder/Executive Director of “I Run For) started this January 2013.They match children/ adults with special needs with runners all over the world, they are called "buddies".  The children/adults are motivation to run faster or longer or reach personal goals and the runners, run for the kids who might not be able to run or even walk.  I just recently found out about this group. I decided to throw Hannah's name in the hat! Within 3 day we were matched! We were match with a awesome runner name Megan!  If you have a special need family member or if you are a runner  and you would like to join please check out the link I run 4 and for more information about the movement please check out Tim Boyle blog!
 Its been a few days and Megan has been running for Hannah and I have to say Hannah is already Megan's biggest fan! She is so excited whenever I tell her Megan posted a picture for her or has run for her. Although you are matched with "strangers" these "strangers" quickly become friends and even part of the family! We are so excited to watch Megan grow stronger, become fast as a runner and meet all her personal goals. As a mom I am excited to see a complete stranger became a true friend to my daughter. I am honored to call Megan my friend and I feel so blessed that someone we don't even know wants to support my little girl! I think this part of our journey will be one of the parts that last a long time and will become very special to Hannah. Thank you I run 4 and Megan for looking for ways to pay it forward, an offering love and acceptance to all types of children/ adult with special needs.


Day 1
Day 2

Day 3

Friday, April 11, 2014

Dear other parents at the park

By:Kate Bassford Baker 2012
Dear other parents at the park:

Please do not lift my daughter to the top of the ladder, especially because she has special needs and you just heard me tell her I wasn't going to do it for her. I am encouraged her to try by herself. I am not sitting here 15 feet away from her because I'm too lazy to get up. I am sitting here because I didn't bring her to the park, so she could learn how to manipulate others into doing the hard work for her just because she has Down Syndrome. I brought her here so she could learn to do it herself.
We are not here to be at the top of the ladder, we are here to learn to climb. We are here to build our gross motor skills. We are here to learn life skills. (For you and your child you may be here to play or run out extra energy, for us a trip to the park is about much more) If she can't do it herself she will survive the disappointment. And what is more important, she will now have a goal and the incentive to work to achieve it. In the meantime, she can use the stairs. I want her to push past limitations and put in the effort to reach a goal she set without any help from me (or you).  

It is not my job and it is certainly not yours to prevent my child from feeling frustrated or fearful.  If we shelter her to much we will have robbed her of the opportunity to learn that those types of things are not the end of the world and they can be overcome.  The world will not stop to help her later in life. She has Down syndrome she is not helpless.
 If she gets stuck, I will not save her immediately. If I do, I will again be robbing her the opportunity to learn to calm herself, assess the situation and try to problem solve her own way out of the situation. She has Down syndrome she is not incapable of thinking or problem solving.

It is not my job to keep her from falling. If I do I have robbed her the opportunity to learn that falling is possible but worth the risk, and that she can in fact get up again.
I don’t want my daughter to learn that she must have someone’s help in order to overcome obstacle. I don’t want her to think she is entitled to a reward without having to push through whatever it is that is holding her back from earning it

I want my daughter to know the exhilaration of overcoming fear and doubt. I want to see the joy and pride on her face when she accomplishes something she has worked so very hard for.
I want her to believe in her own ability. I want her to be confident and determined.

I want her to accept any limitation she might have and I want her to strive to figure out a way past them on her own significant power.
I want her to feel capable of making her own decisions, develop her own skills, take her own risks and learn to cope with her own feelings.

I want her to climb the latter without any help from you, (However good your intentions might be), because she can. I know it and if I give her a little space, she will soon know it too.

This may come to a surprise to you but if I do everything for I have failed her as a mother. I would be doing her more harm than good. So thank you for standing aside and letting me do my job, which consists mostly of resisting the very same impulses you are having, and biting my tongue when I want to yell “Be careful” and choosing, deliberating, painfully, standing back 15 feet instead of rushing forward.
As she grows up the latter will only get taller and scarier, and much more difficult to climb. And I don’t know about you but I would rather help her learn the skills she will need to navigate them now, when I misstep means a scraped knee that can be healed with a kiss. And while these 15 feet between us still feels (to her) that I am much too far away. The world is a scary place for all kids but with children with special need there are so many more people saying they can’t do something or underestimating their abilities. Teaching her these things now will make her confident and capable of standing up to those who doubt her and say to them “watch me!!!”