Today is my little girl's birthday and she turned 5! I thought I'd celebrate this last year through pictures. Happy Birthday sweet girl.
Elise's behaviors have diminished greatly over the last year. She is much more content and happy and I love it! We can't get enough of her smiles and giggles.
As I've reflected on where Elise was a year ago I can certainly say she's accomplished a lot. Her motor planning with going up any playground equipment then figuring out how to position her body to sit on a slide then push herself down has improved and her movements are quicker. She learned how to climb into the car then sit down in her seat. This still takes some prompting but I don't have to physically do it all for her anymore. She can sit criss cross now, put stars on a star stacker toy, and put beans in a glass soda bottle.
At the end of summer Elise could hold herself up in the swimming pool with a life jacket on for about 30 seconds! This was an amazing improvement. When we first started taking her to the pool, if we at all let go of our strong hold on her then she'd fall face forward into the water. She also learned at the end of summer to scroll on her ipad which has opened up so many possibilities for her communication now.
She has also learned to bring things to me she wants. For this to happen they're mostly highly motivating items like a bag of marshmallows, a juice box, or her ipad. I could probably be on a commercial for Otterbox and show all the different ways your ipad will survive because of its strong, durable case. Her ipad has survived being thrown down the stairs multiple times, thrown onto tile floor, being stepped on, and thrown some more. It's been through a lot!
Just a few of the many family members and friends who love and adore Elise. They are all so good to her and we feel incredibly blessed to have family who do their best to include and help her. We have such an awesome support system!
Some days are just plain hard for this sweetie. Sometimes she's done and refuses to go anymore then sits in the dirt and has a meltdown. Sometimes sleep doesn't come easily for her or she wakes up in the night unable to go back to sleep. Sometimes she tries so hard to use her hands but they don't do what I know she intends for them to do. Sometimes I know she wants something but can't relay it to me and it is so frustrating to her. Sometimes I just ache to break the silence between us. These are the moments I so wish I could take this burden from her.
We took 4 trips to Primary Children's Hospital this year for Elise. She had a variety of tests done and although nothing has presented itself we are further ahead in knowing what she doesn't have and know overall she is a fairly healthy little girl. She is a champ.
In addition to her other therapies, this summer Elise was able to be in equine (horse) therapy. It wasn't the best of experiences for her since it was in the afternoon and she was tired by that point. Near the end of her sessions she did better with Bryn riding behind her though. Hopefully this next summer will go better for her.
And of course she was the most adorable witch for Halloween! Compliments to her older sister Bryn for making a Halloween necklace to match her outfit. Happy birthday Princess!!! You are loved and adored by many and we feel privileged to have you as our daughter.
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!