Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Lily Bird, aka "The Smoothie Thief"

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Anti-Romantic Child - A Book Review And Give-Away

"This child will love to read.  Will play basketball like his daddy.  Will go shopping with mom.  Will love to laugh.  Will be creative.  Intelligent.  Responsible.  This child will never throw tantrums and will happily eat all his vegetables." 

Are these the kinds of things you said about your children before you had them? 

Me too.

No matter how many child rearing manuals we read or how many parents we interview, children have a way of surprising us when they make their arrival into our families.  In fact, we seldom get the child we were "expecting" when we were "expecting".

Priscilla Gilman's book, The Anti-Romantic Child, is proof of this.

While Priscilla experienced some heartbreak as a young child, she had what she herself refers to as, "a romantic childhood", full of creative, unstructured play such as reading, writing stories and songs, making up plays for anyone willing to watch, dancing, singing, drawing pictures, and plenty of outdoor fun.

As a college student, Priscilla fell in love with the poet William Wordsworth and felt a deep connection with his eloquent expressions of childhood and loss.  His words, along with her own upbringing, formed a firm foundation for the children she would have someday.

But when Benjamin was born, Priscilla realized just how romantic and idealized Wordsworth's picture of childhood was.

Benj challenged Priscilla's notions of the lithe, graceful, and carefree Wordsworthian child.  He had an intense need for things to be "just right".  He was fastidious to the point of compulsion.  He had motor development issues.  He had difficulty chewing, preferring to eat baby food from jars well past the age when most children had moved on to table foods.  At the same time he seemed to be lagging behind his peers, he was quite advanced in other areas.  He recited the alphabet with ease at 16 months of age and could read entire books fluently just past the age of two.  He was obsessed with numbers, and could count from one to one hundred shortly after 14 months of age.

Priscilla discovered Benj was hyperlexic, a condition in which children have, among other things, an above normal ability to read accompanied by a below normal ability to understand spoken language.

The Anti-Romantic Child follows Priscilla's journey in coming to terms with the fact that life would be different than what she imagined.  That she, the professor of English Literature would herself become the student of her son, learning to love, accept, and embrace Benjamin just as he was created.  

When I was approached by TLC Book Tours to host Priscilla Gilman and The Anti-Romantic Child here, I was excited because I had already read the book and loved it.  

The Anti-Romantic Child is different than most "special needs" books I had read, the narrative sprinkled with poetry and nuggets of self-revelation.  It was not a "how-to" manual or a story of recovery.  It was quite simply a beautiful book and a joy to read.

There were several times throughout the book that I felt like I had discovered a kindred spirit in Priscilla.  

We both struggled with seeing our children as more than their diagnosis; as distinctive individuals.  After Lily was diagnosed with autism, many people would remind me that she was the same child she had always been.  Upon hearing those words herself, Priscilla voiced the same question I couldn't help but ask myself, "But what had he/she been??"

Like Priscilla, I came to understand just how much we take for granted - the ability to speak, to understand spoken language, to pretend play, to decipher body language, to engage in effortless conversation...  We have so much to be thankful for but so many of us just expect these things to come naturally for us and our children.  I have learned to celebrate every single milestone my daughter, Lily, meets and to never forget that all human beings are a miraculous creation of God.

I have learned to adjust my expectations, understanding that Lily must be taught things that are often instinctual for others.  I had to laugh when reading Priscilla's description of "play therapy", because I could so totally relate.  Most of you faithful readers know that we have been doing Birdie Boot Camp in an effort to teach Lily how to play.  While it can seem forced and unnatural, it is a necessary part of her learning.  (For those of you unfamiliar with Birdie Boot Camp, click here and here to check it out.) 

I absolutely love how Priscilla sums up her experience with Benj.  She writes:

"I have had to come to terms with the loss of my romantic vision, my idea of how my child, and my life, were going to be. But out of the death of that dream has come a flourishing of amazing life.  Being Benj's mother has changed me profoundly, has made me more, rather than less, idealistic; more, rather than less, passionate; more, rather than less, creative."


I had the fortunate experience of catching up with Priscilla on Facebook Monday afternoon and was able to have a little dialogue with her that I want to share with you:
The lovely Priscilla Gilman herself

(Me) How is Benjamin doing now?

(PG) Benj is now 13 and taller than I am!  He's in 7th grade in a special school and doing wonderfully. He's a passionate musician, inventive writer, and enthusiastic NY Giants and Mets fan.  This summer, he'll attend camps for songwriting, music programming, and stop-motion animation.

(Me) What would you say is the most important thing Benj has taught you?

(PG) The most important thing Benj has taught me is how to appreciate, respect, and honor difference.

I believe all of us parents of special needs children would say the same thing - that our lives are richer because we share it with these amazing children.

One final quote from the book that I love, love, love:

"To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human can fight and never stop fighting."
e.e. cummings

That right there, my friends, that is true for every single one of us.

Now, have I made you want to run out and buy the book?  I hope so!  

But before you head out to the bookstore, let me tell you something really fun and exciting - I have a copy of The Anti-Romantic Child to give away!

Yes, you read that right!  One lucky person can WIN their very own book!

All you have to do is leave a comment below.  It doesn't have to be eloquent or wordy, just let me know you'd like a chance to win the book and you're entered.  On Friday, June 1, at 12 Noon Central Standard Time,  I'll use to select one of the comments to be my lucky winner.

And don't be fooled into thinking this book only applies to special needs parents!  The lessons of love and acceptance found in its pages apply to all parents.  So if you're a parent, you qualify to enter the contest.

In the meantime, click here to visit Priscilla's blog to get better acquainted with her.  You'll be glad you did.

Now, what are you waiting for?  Leave a comment!  And good luck!

In the interest of full disclosure, I did receive a copy of The Anti-Romantic Child in exchange for my honest review.  My opinion is my own and is not influenced in any way by the free book.  In fact, that free copy is the one used for the give-away since I already have my own! 


Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

Memorial day

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Leaving the Nest

Today, I am visiting a potential school for this baby...

...and watching this baby graduate from school.

What a day this will be.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Because pictures of sweet sleeping babies never get old...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Winners and What's Going On

I want to thank each and every one of you who voted for Lily Bird in Friendship Circle's Great Bike Give Away.  While we didn't win, I was so touched by the outpouring of love and support from all of you.  There were so many deserving kiddos and I'm just so excited to hear how they do with their brand new bikes!

If you're interested in checking out the winners, click here.

Well, it's not a bike, but I did win something during the Ultimate Blog Party that I took part in last month.  It's called Time Dog and it's a virtual personal assistant service.  It's the coolest thing and I've got it free for a whole entire year!  I'll tell you more about it later but for now, have a look around their website. Be sure to watch the quick "How it Works" video and try not to be too jealous!

A few other things going on in the Rush house this week:

Our oldest daughter, Ryley, is graduating from high school.

Our middle daughter, Reagan, is taking her finals.

Ryan and I are visiting a potential school for the Bird.

And Ryan is tying up loose ends at work because he is taking off the entire month of June (Hallelujah and Amen!).

So this is a week of big stuff!

And yes, it gets a little nutty around here sometimes.

And yes, you should see people's faces when I tell them that this fall, I'm sending one daughter to college and one daughter to kindergarten.

And yes, sometimes my mom talks to me on the phone and then changes her plane ticket to come a week earlier than expected because I am temporarily losing my mind and she is worried about me.

And yes, sometimes my mom and I spend that extra week cleaning and organizing because while it might not help make decisions, it sure feels better when your closet is clean and your mom is close by.

But hey - that's how we roll around here.

Friday, May 18, 2012

My Big Weekend Plans

1.  Buy a plastic swimming pool, fill it up with some fabulous looking sensory stuff, like jello, mud, popcorn, Rice Chex, and styrofoam packing peanuts (not all at the same time, of course...) and let the Bird just go crazy in it.

numbers and sensory together!

2.  Make these two recipes from New Nostalgia:

3.  Buy this book and keep it in my car to capture those unexpected quiet times with the Lord.

Dear Jesus: Seeking His Life in Your Life

4.  Print out this little saying to hang on my bathroom mirror because it so accurately sums up my life as a mom.


What about you?  Any big (or little) plans for the weekend?  Whatever you find yourself doing, I hope you enjoy it and get in some lovely family time.  See you Monday!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Help the Bird get a Bike!

The Friendship Circle of Michigan is hosting an amazing contest called "The Great Bike Giveaway - Special Bikes for Special Kids".

The Bird is entered in the contest but we need your help!

The fifteen kids with the most votes automatically win a bike.  Then four kids who have at least 100 votes are eligible for the Director's Choice so they still have a chance to receive a bike.

So what do you have to do?

Just head over to Facebook by clicking this link right here (yep - just click on the word "link") and cast your vote for Lily.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

No registering.  No questions.  Zip.  Nada.

Just click on the word VOTE under the Bird's picture. (look for my name - Lana Rush)

And then spread the word to all your friends so they can vote, too!  Send an email.  Put it on Facebook. Tweet it.  Just get the word out!

Only one little note - voting can only be done on desktop or laptop computers.  Phones, i-Pads, and the like won't register the votes.

Also, voting is over on Friday, the 18th.

So what are you waiting for??

Click on that link up there and go vote!

We thank you kindly.

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Lily is finishing up a ten day course of antibiotics, something she hasn't needed to take in quite some time.

Normally, the meds don't give her any trouble.

Not so this time.  

We've had a bit of an issue with... um..., a rather common side effect of antibiotics.  I bet with the help of this picture, you can figure it out: 

Not sure of the "deeper meaning" but y'all - have we had some "spring cleaning" going on around here!

Monday, May 14, 2012

My Prom Pretties

This past weekend was a big one at the Rush house.

One word:  Prom.

My big girls go to a small private school.  In fact, Ryley will be one of five students in the first ever graduating class of 2012.  And this was the very first prom.

I think Ryan was a little surprised at all the commotion around the house, with both big girls preparing for the night.  I don't think he'd ever seen that many cosmetics, nail polishes, and hair products floating between the girls' jack and jill bath.  It was most impressive.

Here's our Ryley and her date, James - a young man the Rush family has known for years and loves so much, we'd adopt him in a minute!

And here's our Reagan and her date for the evening, Collin - one of her friends and a perfect gentleman we are just getting to know and love. 

Since the group was on the small side, prom was held on a boat that tooled around Town Lake, taking in all the lights of beautiful downtown Austin.  Well, it took in the lights once it got dark....

Here's the two couples boarding the boat:

Both girls had a great time.  I learned that you don't have to actually attend prom to be worn out by the end of the night.  And Ryan got a little taste of what planning weddings for three daughters will be like!

Friday, May 11, 2012

To All the Moms

From the Bird and me...

Mother's Day printables

Thursday, May 10, 2012

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday - One Day Late

I missed posting my pictures for Wordless Wednesday so I thought I'd just break all the rules and post them today instead.

Because that's how I roll.

Here's a couple shots of Lily Bird enjoying her brand new easel from a sweet friend.

"Hey! This marker really works!"

"I wonder if it writes on the easel tray, too."

Now she's really going to town.  And using the left hand.  She still goes back and forth.

And I just wanted to show you the sweet thing I woke up to this morning.  I have the best little brother in the whole wide world.

Have a nice Thursday, my friends!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

We Could ALL Use Some Social Skills Training

I saw a statement on Twitter a while back and while I can't remember who said it or exactly how it was said, it's too good to not attempt to repeat.  The bottom line was this:

It might be difficult but I can raise my child with special needs if you can raise your child to accept her.


That right there will preach.

Let's face it - socialization is a hard, hard thing for many children with special needs.

Some of our children are nonverbal while some engage in echolalia, repeating phrases from memory that often have nothing to do with the present situation.  Some are brutally honest.  Still others get fixated on one particular topic, like bugs or volcanoes, and that is all they want to talk about.  Many invade others' personal space while some of our kiddos simply prefer to be left alone.

Either it's difficult for our kiddos to know how to engage another peer in play or their peers don't want to engage in play with them because they don't know what to make of our children.

Honestly, our children can just be hard to play with sometimes.

Many parents of special needs kiddos do all they can to teach their children how to make and be a friend.  Social skills groups, play groups, play therapy, relationship training.... the list is endless.  We also spend quite a bit of time advocating for our children, helping the public become aware and accepting, teaching others that our children are much like neurotypical kids with many of the same interests and hobbies.

But I believe social acceptance is a two way street.

Typical kids often need social skills training just as much as their special needs peers.

Let me give you a couple of examples to illustrate what I'm saying.
  • A little girl who just happens to have autism is playing on the playground after school is over.  In social skills group, she has been working on approaching a peer, looking them in the eye, and saying, "Hi. My name is ___. Do you want to swing/slide/dig in the sand/whatever?"  She finally gets up the nerve to go try this with another little girl on the playground.  When she gets done reciting her very practiced piece, the other little girl looks at her and says, "No."
  • Two children are playing video games.  One is neurotypical (NT) and one has special needs (SN).  While the special needs child is waiting for his turn, which isn't always an easy task for any kid, he flaps his arms, hums, and talks to himself.  The NT child gets very embarrassed, hands the gaming device back to the other kid, and walks away without finishing the game.
  • A group of NT children are jumping on a trampoline.  A child with SN approaches and asks to play.  The kids aren't sure what to do or say because they don't know if he can jump.
  • A SN child frequently wears a bib because of drooling.  Some children call him a baby because no one their age wears bibs anymore.  Other kids simply wonder why he needs one but are afraid to ask about it.
Do you see what I'm getting at here?

Social skills therapy is never going to be completely successful if the children with special needs are the only ones receiving it.

Our NT kiddos have to be taught how to interact with children different from themselves.  They need to spend time with peers who are in wheelchairs, who are visually impaired, who are deaf, who are nonverbal, just to name a few, so that they come to see the similarities instead of just the differences.

Social skills training will work best when it's conducted in an environment where it is safe to kindly ask questions.  Where trained therapists answer those questions in a straight-forward manner.  Where children learn about each other and the variety of ways that happiness and excitement can be expressed.  Where kids learn to voice their negative emotions in an appropriate fashion.  Where children start to grasp the concept of personal space. A place where children discover all the many things they can do instead of what they can't do.

I just think socialization works best when we all work on it together.  We all have so much to teach one another.  And to learn from each other.

And before you start thinking that I'd also like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony, let me give you just one example of the good that can come out of these mixed NT and SN social skills groups that I've seen with my own eyes and heard with my own ears.

About a year ago, I was observing at a school that is made up of 50% NT children and 50% SN children.

It was lunchtime and the kids were seated at a rectangle table, happily munching and talking to one another.

One small boy seated at the head of the table was nonverbal.  In front of him was one of those big red GoTalk type buttons.  He reached out to push the button and I heard a recorded voice say, "milk, please."

Well, the teachers were busily helping other children get their juice boxes open and Tupperware lids off.  So the little boy patiently pushes the button again.

Still no response from the teachers.

The boy pushes the button a third time, and to my utter delight, the little NT girl sitting to the right of this small boy, says in the clearest and loudest voice, "Hey, Teacher! He said he wants milk!!"

It brought tears to my eyes.

Now that little boy didn't actually speak the words.  But because this young girl had spent so much time around SN kids, she understood that big red button was that boy's voice.  And she thought nothing of saying, "he said he wants milk", because in her mind, he did say he wanted milk.  He just didn't say it the same way she did.  Honestly, I don't think she even noticed.  And she certainly didn't care.

That right there is what I want for all our kids, special needs and typical alike.  We have so much to learn from one another.  We just need to be willing.  To be unafraid.  To be accepting.

And we'll all be richer for it.

Maybe I do want the world to sing in perfect harmony.

Is that such a bad thing?

Make a difference: Elaine Dalton

Monday, May 7, 2012

Prudential Spirit of Community Awards

About a month ago, I was contacted by Social Spot Notes about The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.  

What are these awards? Created in 1995, The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards represents the United States’ largest youth recognition program based solely on volunteer service, and is a truly remarkable program! Each year, the program’s judges select 102 State Honorees – two from each state and the District of Columbia – to receive $1,000, an engraved silver medallion, and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. where the students will tour the capital’s landmarks, attend a gala awards ceremony, and visit congressional representatives on Capitol Hill.

While in D.C., 10 of the State Honorees will be named National Honorees on May 7th. These honorees will receive additional $5,000 awards, gold medallions, crystal trophies and $5,000 grants from The Prudential Foundation for nonprofit charitable organizations of their choice. This wonderful trip is designed not only to thank the students for all their hard work, but also to recognize their efforts and encourage others to follow in their footsteps.

Why am I telling you about these awards?  Because not one, not two, but three of the State Honorees have volunteered their time and talents for the special needs community!  I thought you might like to hear about each of them. 

Hope Reis, 18, of Bismarck, N.D., a junior at Century High School, organized a day of downhill skiing for children with special needs. Visually impaired herself, Hope came up with the idea for “A Day on the Hill for Kids with Special Needs” when she was working with the local ski patrol to complete her Girl Scout Gold Award. “When I went skiing, I felt like I was a normal person and I did not feel like I had a disability,” said Hope. “I wanted to give people with all different kinds of disabilities a chance to do something they did not think they would be able to do.”  After Hope came up with her idea, she began raising money to buy helmets, safety vests, hand and toe warmers and other equipment the participants would need. She applied for several grants and received one for $2,000. She also sent a letter to local businesses that netted another $1,000 in donations. Then Hope visited college classes to ask for volunteers and enlisted the help of the ski patrol. Last winter, on a cold, brisk day that began with a temperature of 20 degrees below zero, seven children with disabilities ranging from cerebral palsy to blindness arrived at the mountain for a day of fun on the ski slopes. Afterward, Hope donated the safety equipment to the ski patrol. “I would like to see this event happen every year, and hope that it will grow to include more participants each time,” she said.

Taytum Jones, 13, of Minot, N.D., an eighth-grader at Erik Ramstad Middle School, has been volunteering with students with disabilities since she was in third grade, both in school and beyond. After Taytum discovered that there was a special classroom for students with autism in her elementary school, “I kept thinking how cool it would be if I could go down into their room and interact with them, but I always said to myself, ‘No, I’m only in third grade!’” she said. Finally, she asked her teacher, and was given permission to miss an hour of class every other day to work in the autistic room. “I thought that was the greatest thing,” she said.  Soon Taytum was spending time with the students before and after school, and during recesses and lunch periods. She helped them with sensory activities, worked on physical coordination skills including stair-climbing and exercise ball balancing and assisted with homework. Taytum also volunteered with an organization called “Dream Catchers” that teaches children with disabilities to play baseball. She continues to work with disabled students at her middle school by playing games and assisting with learning activities. “I think I have made a great impact on children,” said Taytum, who wants to be a special education teacher when she grows up. “I can tell just by the smiles on their faces that they enjoy seeing me. Putting a smile on someone else’s face can bring me up even on the worst day.”

Calista Pierce, 12, of Guys Mills, Pa., a sixth-grader at Maplewood Elementary School in Townville, has raised nearly $12,000 so that local Special Olympics athletes can continue to take part in regional and state competitions, and more than $8,000 to grant wishes to two gravely ill children through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. One day when Calista was 7 years old, she overheard Special Olympics officials lament that they could no longer afford to take athletes to regional and state events. Having a brother who loves to play sports in his wheelchair, “I know how important Special Olympics is for the athletes,” she said. She also realized the power of the Make-A-Wish Foundation when her brother qualified for one of its wishes. So, Calista decided to raise money for both of these causes.  She makes and sells crafts, hosts bake sales and organizes raffles and other fundraisers. She recruits family, friends and even Special Olympics athletes to help with her endeavors. In addition, Calista works as a Special Olympics volunteer by training and serving as a teammate with disabled athletes. Thanks in part to her efforts, athletes from her county continue to participate in distant competitions and two children with life-threatening medical conditions have had wishes granted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation. “I feel really good about volunteering every time I see athletes excited when they find out they are selected for competition,” said Calista. “They usually scream and cheer and some of them even cry because they are so excited. It is such an amazing moment to watch.”

Each of these three remarkable young ladies has a chance to be one of the ten National Honorees that will be named today, May 7th, in Washington D.C.

If you would like to watch the awards live today at 12:45 PM Eastern, click here for the link.  If you can't watch but would still like to get updates on the winners, follow!/PruSpirit or use the hashtag #PruSpirit2012. 

In the midst of all the news about bullying, isn't it nice to read about some young people who are speaking up for our kiddos?  On behalf of special needs parents all over the US, I want to say thank you to these three young women for making a difference for our children.  You girls are true heroes, leading with compassion.  

Well done, ladies.  Well done.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Stop the Madness Part One

I've got a question for you.

What is the one trait you want your child to possess when he leaves home?

Happiness?  Responsibility?  Self-discipline?  Honesty?

When our big girls were much younger, Ryan and I posed this same question to each other.

I didn't have to think long at all to come up with the one character trait that I wanted to do my best to instill in my daughters.


Merriam-Webster defines compassion as "a sympathetic consciousness of other's distress together with a desire to alleviate it."

Let's get a little simpler.

Compassion is an understanding of how someone else is feeling and wanting to do something about it.

Did you catch that?

See, compassion is a two-part character trait.

The first half of the definition is simply pity.  A feeling of sadness or sympathy for someone.

But what I love about compassion?  It takes that sympathetic feeling, that pity, and does something!

And this, my friends, is what the world could use a whole lot more of, don't you think?

Click here to watch this short video and see if you don't agree with me.

Bullying makes me sick.

It literally makes me nauseous.

And my heart breaks to think that there are children in this world who hate going to school, not because they don't like the homework, but because they are ostracized, left out, made fun of, beat up, verbally abused, and made to feel like they are worthless.

And something has got to be done about it.

Yes, schools, teachers, principals, filmmakers, counselors can all address bullying until they're blue in the face.

But you know where compassion starts?

At home.

I'm tired of hearing, "well, kids will be kids" and "kids can be so mean" and "it's just a phase - all kids go through it" and "I was bullied and I'm tougher for it".

That is a bunch of bunk.

Mom and Dad, compassion starts with you.

It starts with a parent, modeling compassion in the home.

A parent raising a child who will not stand for bullying.

A child who will not sit in a classroom and allow other students or a teacher to make fun of a fellow student.

A child with enough self-esteem and integrity to stand up for someone when no one else will.

A child who will reach out to someone who needs a friend.

A child who will not laugh and join in on hurting someone with words or fists.  Or simply stand by and do nothing, like pity would do.

A child willing to look past another's exterior and see that person for who he is - a child of God, made in His image, loved by God, and worthy of being treated with dignity.

But it must be intentionally taught.

One of the best ways I know how to teach this is through "if-then" type scenarios.

Present your children with hypothetical situations in which someone is being bullied.  Then ask them what they would do.  Do this over and over, again and again.  Until it almost becomes routine.  Until their reaction to bullying almost becomes second nature.  So that when your child witnesses bullying, it won't be the first time he's thought about it.  He'll know what to do.

As a parent, teach your children the difference between pity and compassion.  Teach your children to not fear people who are different by spending time with them.  Then be a family who shows compassion.  Volunteer at a homeless shelter.  Visit nursing homes.  Take a mission trip.  Sponsor a needy child.  Befriend someone with special needs.  Have your child be a peer model in a special needs school.  Be a buddy at church.  Serve at a camp for underprivileged children.

Just do something.

Because bullying has got to stop.

And it's going to take our kids to put an end to it.

Let's start right here.  Right now.

"Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble."  1 Peter 3:8

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Running Through My Mind

Want to know why I can't sit still long enough to put a post together?  Here's just a few of the thoughts rattling around in my brain, on top of the normal, everyday stuff:
  • Is public school the best option for Lily?
  • Our home public school is huge! Can I even picture Lily in that environment?
  • I'm scared.
  • I taught kindergarten so I know what's expected by the end of the year.  Is Lily really capable of accomplishing those skills this coming year in order to participate as a kinder student?
  • We seem to have so much still to learn before we even attempt kindergarten academics - standing in a line, sitting at a desk, eating lunch, putting away a backpack....
  • Lily will definitely need a full-time 1:1 aide, not just for integration but for safety of herself and classroom equipment.  Will the school go along with this?
  • I know that public school will require a huge investment of my time, energy, and effort to ensure that Lily gets all she needs to be successful.  Are ARDs and IEPs and all that comes with those things really the most effective use of my time, energy, and effort in helping the Bird?
  • I'm scared.
  • How will the kids react to Lily?
  • If we spend this entire year learning how to go to school, will Lily have to repeat kindergarten to gain academic skills she may miss?
  • The classroom will not be "Lily-proofed".
  • Will her teachers love her despite the fact that she can try the patience of a saint?
  • I would love to choose a school and be done with the decision.  But what if we make the decision to place her in public school and it doesn't work out?  What then?
  • I'm scared.
  • What are all my options for Lily, if we don't choose public school?
  • Will Lily go to kindergarten with sippie cups and Pull-ups?
  • How will the teacher get her to learn if she can't get her to sit still?
  • I'm scared.
  • How will Lily communicate with her teachers?  Her peers?  Will they learn what her unique gestures mean?
  • Will the school provide enough speech and occupational therapy?
  • I'll still want Lily to go to private speech.  When will she do this?  Before school?  After school?  Will she be exhausted?  Worn out?  Miserable?
  • What about all the stuff she doesn't know how to do that the other kids do know?
  • How will Lily show her teachers what she does know?  What she's learned?  What she needs more help with?
  • Will they take her to the bathroom regularly?
  • Will they start teaching at the stage where Lily is developmentally or will they just start the year with typical kinder lesson plans?
  • How long can we keep our heads above water financially before we have no other options besides public school?
  • I'm scared.
  • Will she be able to....
  • How can she...
  • What if...
  • What...
  • If...
  • I'm scared....
  • .....

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Yet another convertible ride.  This time, in Grandma and Grandpa's.  Our Bird definitely prefers riding in style, tooling through the neighborhood, waving at all the people.  All she needed was some candy to throw and it would've been a parade.

Stole this picture from my mother-in-law's Facebook.

On another quick note, sorry for the lack of posts this week.  I've pretty much disappeared from the interwebs at the moment.  Ryan and I are wrestling with some big decisions regarding school for Lily next year and to be perfectly honest, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed right now.  

To my bloggy buddies, please know I'm thinking about you even if you're not hearing from me as much lately.  And for my faithful readers, please stick with me!  I promise to get back to my regular posting schedule when I have enough brain cells to write something at the end of the day.

Have a lovely Wednesday.
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