Saturday, March 29, 2008

Ponderings about the Week

Hannah got bit on the chest at school this week by another little boy in her class. She didn't cry. It scares and pains me that she has such a high pain tolerance. No 6 year old should have been through so much that they don't respond to pain. She was bit during music time. At least it happned during a time when she is happiest, I suppose. The little boy got really excited and just bit out of that excitement. Hannah happened to be in his bite path Thursday. Her teachers were wonderful. They called me and let me know what happened and apologized. Not that they needed to apologize because it wasn't anything they could have prevented. It did make me feel good that they felt so bad for Hannah.

I have to say that the incident did bring to the surface alot of the fears we have for Hannah. She cannot tell us if she is hurt or who hurt her. That thought terrifies me. It can plague me if I let it. I find myself pondering keeping her with me 24/7. She'd be so unhappy though, and so would I. Hannah LOVES school.

Actually I think Hannah did tell us who bit her in her own way. They can't tell me who bit her, and it doesn't matter who it was to me. Every one of the boys in Hannah's class are just precious and she adores them all. However, when I asked Hannah she recited...."no, no, no, boys name TIME OUT!" Then when I asked, "did boys name bite you" she responded, "they, no, no boys name, TIME OUT!" I think she was answering my question in her own way. I can do two things with this. I can be excited that she was able to tell me in her own way, or I can be depressed because she can't tell me like a typical child does. Choosing how to think? That has been such a constant theme in my life lately.

Today we watched the HBO documentary, "Autism, the musical". I cried through alot of it. Lexi just so reminded me of Hannah and sort of gave me a view of what Hannah may be like at 14 yrs of age. As her parents talked I saw in them the same things David and I worry about when we think about Hannah's future. It's scary.

April is Autism Awareness month. I'm driving everyone nuts that knows me, I think. We just need some help getting the right people looking into the cause of this epidemic. In 1980 1 in 10,000 kids were diagnosed with autism. In 2007, it was approximately 1 in 150. I'll let you do the math, but that is an astronomical increase.

Just two more days to a new total. I'll post it as soon as I get it! Thanks y'all!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter and More Kisses

Below you will find Pictures of Easter. We got another kiss from God on Sunday. Every year Hannah usually had a melt down and would not attempt to hunt eggs with her peers. This year I had braced myself for another year like all the others. (We've kind of made a pact between us that we will not stop attempting the typical where Hannah is concerned. Regardless of the outcome we will treat her as typical as possible, and allow her experiences that every child has.) The kids lined up for the hunt, and the teacher said go! Hannah started picking up eggs and putting them in her bucket! David, Kyle and I were very excited. She was having so much fun! All I could do is smile and hug her as she told me, "Good job Hannah, Hannah good job!" She refers to herself in the third person often.

I've had so many things take place in the last week, that it's been whirlwind-ish. First I sent a press release to the paper and they printed a story in our local paper not once, but twice. Then today I was told that our local radio station had been calling on people to help us out too! I am so touched by the way people have reached out to help us. This is going beyond my wildest dreams. Hannah just may have her dog by Christmas! That would be so wonderful!

Hannah's started doing things she hasn't done since before she started having the really bad seizures. She is coloring, following directions, and showing more interest in toys. She's really showing interest in the kids around her but seems unsure of how to approach or play with them. We're just excited that she's showing interest.

To alot of you, I know, those things will make you sad to read, but to us, they make us grin ear to ear. You really do learn to see how you've taken for granted all the small things and learn to celebrate and appreciate them. Afterall, we have a whole lot more small in our lives than big, so if we can celebrate and appreciate the small, we'll add alot more moments of happiness to our lives!

I want to say thank you to Harwood for their kindness to Hannah! They donated $3,700(not an exact total yet) towards her dog. Also, thank you to The Hill County Reporter and KHBR-1560 AM for putting Hannah's story out "there". I'll have a new total on April 1st! Thanks everyone for your support and donations!

The First Easter Hannah participated In The Egg Hunt

Monday, March 17, 2008

Totals and Dinner

Well, as of the 15th we have $2,800 turned in towards Hannah's dog!

On Friday night David, Hannah, and I attended a dinner for Javan. They had a spaghetti dinner and both live and silent auctions. They raised nearly $7,000, and have finished Javan's fund raiser for his dog! It's so exciting to know someone who is actually done raising donations and will be scheduled to get their dog. Hannah had a great time and made out like a bandit. I think they sent her home with four baskets of goodies. Beads were in each basket. Yipee!

Vicki was great. I'm so glad I got to meet her and Fred. They're incredible people and we were so blessed to watch their church family pour their love into them.

It's Spring Break! The kids are all home this week. Hannah had a slight melt down this morning over not being able to go to school but it was not as bad as I had anticipated.

Well, I should go. I'm so excited for everyone. Check out this video on youtube. It's the March Training class meeting their dogs. It's so moving.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Big and Small!

Hannah told me yesterday when we got in the van after church, "I need chips and a coke coke please." I was sooooo excited. You better believe she got some chips and a coke.(she's only had about a handful of coke in her life so where this sudden need for coke comes from I don't know, LOL!)

On Friday Mrs. Wheeler made remarks about how Hannah responded to her and drew some smiley faces. We had to show everyone that came in the door the smiley faces in her folder. She told them, "say, good job Hannah!" She's going through this thing where she tells us what we're supposed to say. And you better believe you better say it just like you said it before! She's a mess!

Today, she got in the van and cackled and told me, "momma, I'm so silly!" I told her that she sure was silly!

We had her ARD today and I was so happy to hear about a little girl that Hannah is starting to interact with in her regular ed class. Her ARD went well, I think. Everyone seems to enjoy Hannah and I honestly believe her education team will do what they can to help her and help us help her. It was thrilling to hear that they are seeing the improvements that we are and that it's been in the same time frame.

I know that one thing having Hannah has taught me....slow down, and appreciate the small things, and to celebrate them. I think so many times in our lives we overlook the small looking toward the big, and when the big never comes we miss it all. Big and Small!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Two Reports and Layne

Yesterday I got the results from some testing the school psychologist did on Hannah recently. He scored her in the severe range for autism. I think no matter how much you prepare for news such as this, it is still a tough blow. I didn't really learn anything I didn't know already, except that when he viewed a home video of Hannah, he saw signs of autism in her then. I had always thought she was developing normally until she turned 3. Not sure how I missed that, but at any rate, the results are in and we need to work on a life plan for Hannah.

Getting her dog will be a huge help. By the way, as of Feb. 29th, we had $220 donated towards her dog. I'll get totals on the 1st and 15th and will update everyone here. The people at Dave's work have really gotten on board and are supporting this effort! Go Harwood! Dave, Hannah and I will attend a dinner for a new friend who is raising money for a dog next Friday. Javan and his family have been working feverishly to raise donations since right before Christmas. It'll be exciting to meet. Keep your fingers crossed for both Hannah and Javan.

I have to admit, I was kind of down after reading the psych report yesterday. There are so many things that go through your mind. I have no way of knowing what Hannah can or can't do. What her life will look like when she is grown. It really is a grieving process. Don't get me wrong, my little girl is a wonderful child. She is amazing and a joy to have in my life. Her disabilities are hard however, and it's difficult to know what to do and not do for her. Today, I think I got what my friend calls, "God kisses". I got to school a little early to pick up Hannah and her class was coming in from the playground. Her teacher spotted me and pointed in front of her. Walking hand in hand back to their class was Hannah and Layne. Layne was talking to Hannah the whole way. Loud sudden noises bother Layne and Mrs. Wheeler told us that when the bell rang, instead of layne letting go of Hannah's hand and putting his hands over his ears, he put his free hand over his ear and lay the other ear on Hannah's shoulder. He wasn't going to let his friend's hand go. Layne is autistic too, and he and Hannah get each other. So, all my worrying about whether Hannah will ever have friends is useless. She may not have friends like I do, but she will have her own little special friends. Thank you God for giving me that kiss today. :<)

Well, I better get dinner done. Please keep us in your prayers!