Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Lizzie at 14 1/2 Years Old!

Autism hasn't stopped Lizzie from doing anything!  This girl is a fighter! She is living proof that our kids with autism can progress and become happy, productive members of our world! 

Here are some highlights from the last few years:
-In fourth grade, Lizzie ran for and made Student Council.
-In fifth grade, we rocked it out at a Taylor Swift concert.  No headphones needed.  
-In sixth grade, after working on it for three years, Lizzie got her back handspring in gymnastics.
-In sixth grade, Lizzie decided to give back by working with special needs kids at our church...helping in the very same program she was once in.
-In seventh grade, Lizzie joined the volleyball team at school and they won District Champions in eighth grade.
-In eighth grade, Lizzie became a cheerleader at her school.
-This summer, Lizzie is learning to play the guitar.
-This summer, Lizzie has a summer job helping at a camp three days a week.

I still see autism in Lizzie everyday, but it is a watered down version that is not just livable...it is beautiful!  She so honest, hard-working and kind that sometimes I wonder why I didn't do therapy with my other two typical kids.  :) 

Yes, we still have struggles.  Reading comprehension is still difficult.  In sixth grade, we moved her to a private school and fitting in with the girls at this school is a challenge.  She does still have friends outside of school to hang out with.  We try to keep the focus on the positive! 

Lizzie's motto is "Normal is Boring!"  Our kids with autism are anything but boring and will no doubt change the world for the better.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Oh How Life Has Changed

When I am having a bad day, I pull up this blog and watch old videos to remind myself how far Lizzie has come. This week, she will turn 8 years old. 8 YEARS OLD!!! Wow. We have been at this for 6 whole years now.

When Lizzie was first diagnosed just days after her 2nd birthday, she had no functional language, no social interaction and stimmed all day long. My heart was broken and her future was uncertain.

At one point along the way, I felt God telling me, "There is no better life". Having a child that graduates from Harvard is no better than having a child in a group home. True fulfillment in life only comes from finding where He wants us to be and working to show others His love through our actions and words.

Today, Lizzie's future seems bright, and I have learned to appreciate and take joy in the little blessings along the way. We are thankful that she is animated and excited about life. She enjoys school, her family and the actiivites that each day brings.

I pray for all the autism parents, that no matter how far our children progress in this life, that we are able to learn to live in the now and find joy in our life as it is. Autism is a hard, hard life. We do more in one long day and a sleepless night than most do in a week. But, when it comes down to it, it is up to us. The rewards are great if we choose to accept them.

Friday, October 15, 2010

2nd Grade Cheer

I have been meaning to post this because I love it so much. Lizzie was so pumped about the 2nd grade cheer for the assembly she did with her class. I would hear her practicing in the mornings in her room. Too cute!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Lizzie Talks about the Future

In this video, Lizzie is 7 1/2 years old. She loves to chat about everything from marriage to kids to what she will be when she grows up.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My Proudest Moment

Today was Special Needs Sunday at our church, Stonebriar Community Church. Lizzie was asked to sing by herself in front of the whole congregation (2,000+ people)! Words cannot explain wonderful she did and how emotional this was for us. She has come so far. It is truly amazing that she is able to handle all the details that surround getting up in front of the whole church and belting out her song from her heart! We are so thankful for all the support of our family, friends, therapists and teachers that have gotten her this far. They say it takes a village, and it really has with Lizzie.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Best Friends!

Words cannot express how thankful we are for Natalie! Natalie is such a sweet friend to Lizzie, and they do everything together.  Because I didn't know if a friendship would ever be possible for Lizzie, I appreciate it so much more.