Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Its a Great Day!!!

Seven weeks ago, Marissa's school life was turned upside down. Marissa's trusted companion, Sarah, (aide) had her baby a month early. It was clearly unexpected and Marissa was not prepared. The school had done some work and had hired a new aide for Marissa during Sarah's absence. For the past seven weeks, Marissa has hit, laid in the floor, had to be picked up early, lost recess, several time outs, and extreme melt downs. Marissa lets say, hates change. She just can't cope with a world that is not organized or unpredictable. She also needs someone with a sense of humor to help her divert from her bad behavior. In the midst of all this, she also has had some medical issues that we have had to deal with as well as turning seven. (Side note: For those of you who have seen me recently, know I have cut all my hair off- this is why. It was either cut it or pull it out, I chose to cut it). She has been short tempered, hard to soothe and impulsive. We have tried every type of reward and consequence imaginable, but no luck. She just continued in her pattern of bad behavior.

So yesterday, was "D Day", Ms. Sarah returns. I wasn't sure if I should have gotten to school early to lay out the red carpet, hire a band and gets lots of balloons. We've been counting down this day since, February 10, and yes, you guessed it Marissa had a great day- NO HITTING. In case you missed it, NO HITTING. The first day is 7 weeks. A wonderful, glorious day! Today, was a repeat- NO HITTING. I pray that she will continue to be on this upside in her behavior.

Often times when I write this blog, its about the struggles and challenges of raising a special needs child. We still have those, but I love it when we just have moments of being normal. When she blends in with her peers or we are out in public and she acts like or better then every other child, its times like those I cherish. We don't have many of them but when we do, I want to celebrate, that is why I am sharing this with you. It takes a lot of energy for her to do so good and she has to suppress a lot of her sensory issues to maintain some sense of herself. Every day I become more amazed at her strength and resilience. She is still simply a miracle.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Happy 7th Birthday!

Today, we celebrate Marissa's 7th birthday. It is always a day of mixed emotion. Thankful that she is still with us and we are able to celebrate but yet a day of reflection of where we have been. This time 7 years ago, we began to find out slowly the medical issues that Marissa was facing and had no idea that one day she would be diagnosed with Autism. The next few days I relive those days of her being in the NICU. And as I look over this past year and the challenges she has faced, I can't help but call her my hero.

The other night I was telling Marissa's story to some new friends and they were amazed at how this little girl has so much going on inside. Every day she continues to fight all the odds and remain strong. While we are currently battling some behaviors at school, it is a testament to her strength and resilience.

We don't know what is in store for us this year. I hope that she will begin to manage her OCD a little bit better and stabilize her behaviors at school. I pray that she will remain physically healthy and that all her organs will continue to support her. I pray each day that God will continue to use her to influence others.

Thank you to all of our special friends and family that came to celebrate today. You help Steve and I each day by being apart of our lives. We are truly blessed that you have invested yourselves in Marissa. We hope that she had blessed you as well.