This is what happens when I walk away for a few seconds, oops. Elise just probably thought it was sensory playtime. It seems she really enjoyed the feel of it!
During speech Elise said the "m" sound a few times when she saw the cow. We rewarded it with, "Good job, cow says moo." She also made the "p" sound a couple times when she saw pig.
We're working on a picture system where she touches objects or pictures to request her wants. She's starting to figure it out. The therapist is using her iPad during therapy. She took pictures of different things in the session and had Elise touch her iPad then rewarded her with the food item or toy.
Writing is therapeutic so bear with me.
I attended a full day class today to learn how Elise's budget works. Other moms were there who had kids with developmental disabilities.
As I entered the room I felt like an outsider and like I didn't belong. I didn't want to be there; I didn't want to belong. Each of them began sharing experiences of their children, mentioning how poorly they have been treated. They asked questions to one another that had never occurred to me before. I got scared. I wanted to run away and not do this anymore.
As the meeting went on something changed in me. I realized I could actually relate to these women. Each of them has their own quiet burden they carry and I didn't feel alone in that burden there. I carry a different, yet similar burden that helped bond us together. Having a special needs child can be lonely. It was nice to feel validated and understood by them because they have been there and know what it's like.
All the women there had teenagers so I was the rookie sitting back, listening to their experiences. Each one has gone through and is going through some terrific challenges and I found myself admiring them.
These were amazing women who may look ordinary to everyone else, but were really extraordinary.
So many talked with me, sharing advice and things they've learned. One of the women shared what she's learned and with what I've been so overtaken with lately, which is the increased amount of empathy and compassion for others.
I've been blessed with a new set of eyes; eyes of understanding and non-judgment.
The speech therapist asked me if there was anything new that happened this week. Last week she had mentioned that Elise was imitating a few sounds and wanted me to pay close attention during the week.
After she asked the question I told her Elise had said, "wa" when I turned on the shower water. When the session was done, she said Elise had said, "wa" again when she saw a cup! I'm so thrilled that this sound is a meaningful sound and she's not just making noises.
Brock is a stud! Not just because he's downright handsome, but he has such a good heart (like his daddy :).
Yesterday while I was shopping with them at Walmart, I told Brock he needed to hold Elise's hand. He didn't let go of her the whole time. He would wander off to where she wanted to look, acting interested in what she was looking at. At one point she started pulling package after package of cookies off the shelves.
He just picked them up for her.
Elise was throwing a littlest pet shop animal down the stairs this morning. He laughed and threw it back up the stairs at her. She laughed along with him and that began a few minutes of Elise interacting with Brock. It was so good to see her playing. She's so lucky to have him for her big brother.
Today was a good day. We found an agency to work with Elise when she turns 3.
I thought we were going to use the preschool we had toured but the more I thought and prayed about it, the more uncomfortable I felt. I knew the preschool was not where Elise was supposed to go. This was very discouraging to me because I kept thinking, "Why wouldn't it be right?" and then, "Now what?"
The following day after I received my answer, we went to church. The speaker's topic was on the prophet, Joseph Smith. He gave the story about how Joseph was searching all the different churches to know which church was true then asked himself,
"I was one day reading the Epistle of James, first chapter and fifth verse, which reads: 'If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.'
I am in no way trying to relate my experience with the prophet's, but the principle is the same: I knew that if I wanted an answer then I must follow Joseph Smith's example and begin researching the different agencies, then "ask of God," which one was the best fit.
The day started at 11AM with interviews to a couple different agencies and ended at 5PM. It was a long, but very productive day and I feel so much better.
I didn't realize how much this was weighing on my mind until I walked into a specific agency and immediately I was overcome with an immense feeling of relief and peace. I felt the Spirit confirm to me that this was where Elise needed to go. After we left I couldn't hold back my tears of joy any longer.
Nothing feels better than to follow the promptings of the Spirit. I had received my answer and I knew it was from God.
Joseph Smith received a specific answer as well to his plight. His story goes on:
14 So, in accordance with this, my determination to ask of God, I retired to the woods to make the attempt. It was on the morning of a beautiful, clear day, early in the spring of eighteen hundred and twenty. It was the first time in my life that I had made such an attempt, for amidst all my anxieties I had never as yet made the attempt to pray vocally.
Ten years after he received his answer, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was re-established on the earth.
I know that by sincerely asking God in prayer, and working to find an answer then in God's timing and in His way, we will be given the answer that is right.
Here is a video recounting Joseph Smith's vision:
Elise has been consuming my thoughts and life again.
It seems like I had a break for a little bit where life was just "normal." It's hit full force again this last week and I'm afraid will continue this way awhile more. More tests, more therapy, more doctor visits and now we are working with her budget which is way more complex than I ever realized. This involves lots of paperwork and classes I have to attend.
I love quotes. They speak what I feel or tell me just what I need. The latter is what I needed today.
"When I take a small pebble and place it directly in front of my eye, it takes on the appearance of a mighty boulder. It is all I can see. It becomes all-consuming-like the problems of a loved one that affect our lives every waking moment. When the things you realistically can do to help are done, leave the matter in the hands of the Lord and worry no more. Do not feel guilty because you cannot do more. Do not waste your energy on useless worry. The Lord will take the pebble that fills your vision and cast it down...it will then be seen in perspective. You will find peace and happiness and will not neglect others that need you" -Elder Richard G. Scott
Elise has taught me so much already but one thing that really stands out is recognizing the Spirit more and being taught specifically. Many times I've had questions that have had to do with her therapy, sleep, and some much needed upliftment.
I have received specific answers.
It is so humbling to know how involved Heavenly Father is in your life and it shows me how much He cares.
"God is in the details of our lives." -Pres. Thomas S. Monson
I received an answer to a prayer that I didn't want to hear but I was reminded in general conference,
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55: 8-9)
I know if we put our trust and faith in God then He will help us in raising His children.
I LOVE being a mom to my 5 kids; one with special needs. There is no greater joy than being a parent! I love each one individually but this blog will mostly focus on our daughter with special needs and our journey with her. Thanks for reading!