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Let The Good Times Roll!

I have a couple of introspective entries that are taking me a long time to finish, but I cannot put off talking about Alice’s awesomeness any longer!  (By the way, did you know that “awesomeness” is an actual word meaning “so impressive or overwhelming as to inspire a strong feeling of admiration or fear”?  It always sounded like a made-up surfer word to me, but it’s not and it completely conveys the current state of Miss Thang!)


The last couple of months have been AMAZING around here.  I feel like there has been a complete shift in our family’s equilibrium for the better.  I briefly mentioned that Alice got a CAP slot in December, and that has made a tremendous difference for us on multiple levels.  CAP is our state’s assistance program for children over three and adults with developmental disabilities, and every person in the program automatically gets Medicaid.  We’ve been applying to Medicaid since 2007 and have always been denied; I don’t think I have to say that this is a HUGE financial relief for us!  Along with Medicaid, Alice gets an amount every year that we can use to hire an aide.  We posted an ad on Craigslist for a graduate student interested in pediatric therapies or early childhood development and found the sweetest girl who is an SLP GRAD STUDENT!  Talk about the stars aligning!  Her name is Tammy and Alice is already completely in love with her. 


Yesterday when Tammy was here, she and Alice had some one-on-one time doing art projects while Isabelle napped and I tackled the bear of attempting to organize and clean out five years of accumulation in our bedroom closet.  Once Isabelle woke up, we all took a trip to the grocery store.  This excursion might seem pedestrian, but it’s something that Alice rarely gets to do.  We brought her button and programmed it to say “Hello, my name is Alice!”  As we were cruising up and down the aisles, she would whack it and more than once, another shopper would turn around and engage her.  One mom with two young girls saw her in the produce section and asked her, “What does that button do?” and once Alice hit it she said, “Well, hello Alice!  How are you?  Aren’t you sweet!”  We saw them as we were checking out and the mom said, “Bye, Alice!” which made Alice so excited she would have bucked right out of her chair if she wasn’t strapped in.  The store florist also heard Alice’s message and asked her to come to the floral counter for a balloon.  It was a wonderful experience!


I can’t talk about Alice’s awesomeness without talking about school.  Almost every day she comes home with exciting tales from her day on her button that we talk about.  One day recently, she and another boy from a different class spent their time on the playground throwing rocks down a drain.  Teacher Lisa said they would put a rock on the top of Alice’s hand then Alice would tilt it over the grating and they’d listen to it clink-clank down the drain.  That filled my heart because that’s the kind of stuff I used to do on the playground!  Alice also likes playing in the sandbox with her friends and dancing at circle time.  OH!  MAJOR NEWS:  Alice has gone pee pee on the potty TWICE at school!  She continues to grow and thrive with all of her friends, and I’m still waiting for someone to pinch me.  Wait, don’t pinch me, if this is a dream I don’t want to wake up :-)


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 17th, 2010 02:57 pm (UTC)
You & Papaslug are utterly brilliant parents. Alice & Isabelle are so lucky to have you!
Thank you for letting me peep into your lives like this.
Apr. 17th, 2010 05:18 pm (UTC)
Aw, that is the nicest compliment you could give! WE are lucky to have THEM :) Thanks, Xine <3
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 17th, 2010 06:54 pm (UTC)
:) North Carolina! We have been SO pleased with all of the services Alice has received so far, and absolutely top notch hospitals and specialists. We want to move back out west but we can't leave what we've got here! When are you moving to the states, or are you already in the states??
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 19th, 2010 01:16 am (UTC)
Angie, it was AMAAAAZING!!!!!!!!!!!! I wish I could bottle the optimism I've been feeling lately and give it to every parent in our situation. Sometimes you lose sight of what could be when you're in the thick of it, you know? I know Alice is going to thrive :)

Edited at 2010-04-19 01:17 am (UTC)
Apr. 18th, 2010 12:12 am (UTC)
Alice's awesomeness.....definitely inherited from the "awesomeness" parents.
Love and hugs to all, Sue
Apr. 19th, 2010 01:18 am (UTC)
Re: Awesomeness
Aw, that's so sweet! We also have a lot of wonderful people looking out for us ;) Love you, Sue!
Apr. 18th, 2010 02:27 am (UTC)
Um, am I your stalker? :) I adore reading your stories on here, and even though I see her at school, it's so wonderful to hear about all of the amazing things that happen the other days she's not at school. :) I absolutely LOVE that she took the button to the grocery store. PERFECT idea. I bet she totally exploded with happiness when she was using the button in conversations. How cool is THAT?
I'm just so proud of her. And you guys are TRULY AWESOME parents. She and Isabelle are the luckiest girlies in the world!!!!
Apr. 19th, 2010 01:26 am (UTC)
Lisa, stop! You are so not a stalker! I invite you into our lives...you're such a big part of it, anyway! They say it takes a village to raise a child; I say it takes an army of amazingly strong, dedicated people to raise a child with special needs. A huge part of what has turned things around for us is how well Alice has responded to school. From here, we only see up, and you and the whole crew are to thank!

And oh my goodness, the grocery store was SO fun. Alice was all smiles the entire time. "Exploded with happiness" is exactly the right choice of words--she put that strap to the test!! lol
Apr. 19th, 2010 02:23 am (UTC)
Wow, great stuff!! How great that you found a great student to work with Alice. I'd love to find someone to help with Malayna but don't know where to start! And I love the grocery store story! I can just imagine Alice's joy! And woo-hoo on the potty too! Malayna went twice for her Daddy this weekend. Oh if we could only keep her motivation going! I love reading about how happy you are. I can say I finally know that feeling too and it is wonderful!

Apr. 20th, 2010 12:50 am (UTC)
Yay, Sheila, that is wonderful! I'm happy that you are feeling happy, too :) I would recommend trying Craigslist if you were interested in finding an aide... at least that way, you can say what you want specifically. We interviewed a handful of people from an agency and none of them were the right fit. If there are universities by you, you could also try posting an ad in the school paper or on the job board. We realized pretty quickly that it's not about the person's experience, but more a good personality because we'll be training them for Alice's specific needs anyway. Keep me posted on that one, I can definitely see how great it will be for Alice to have a best buddy!
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )



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