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Monday, March 17, 2008

So VERY Thankful!

Today my little Caroline brought her report card home. She did so great!

It is a huge deal because last year at this time I had a T-K teacher tell me that my little one would need a lot of prayers to make it in a "regular" kindergarten class. We were very concerned that she might be border line autistic or have asperger's syndrome. She was showing some developmental delays in her motor skills and she was having a hard time in the classroom. She was not doing a lot of the things that other kids were doing and she had some odd behaviors.

She would bounce in her chair instead of doing her work. She would not be able to follow directions and do crafts like the other children. She needed lots and lots of help with writing and she always scribbled when she colored. She could not swing herself and she still can not ride a bike. She seemed very anxious in groups of children and she always needed to know what was next in her day. She could not just be! She would flap her hands or put them up to her face if she was excited or scared or unsure of something and she still does these things if she is angry or frustrated or excited. She had real bathroom issues and we still go through times of messy pants.

We started by having her tested academically just to see where she stood when given a standardized test. I was a special educator and so I was most familiar with these assessments and was most comfortable with starting her testing in this way. They found that she had average to below average intelligence in several areas, but she had high verbal skills. I knew that this girl was smarter than this and come to find out... girlfriend would just choose not to answer or participate during testing!

We were referred to a psychologist who did a battery of tests and while she could not give us a formal diagnosis she did recommend occupational therapy for sensory/auditory processing disorder. It seems that our girl could not take in all of the stimulus around her, process or cope with it, and then know what to do with it all.

Lots of kids means lots of energy and she was having a hard time taking all of that energy in and still function in the classroom. She also did not seem to comprehend blanket statements like "Children get in line" or "I need everyone to come to the table." It was almost like she needed a special invitation. It seemed as if she was rebelling, but she was not processing a blanket command or request. She also had no sense of appropriate personal space, and did not read emotions of others except sadness. She talked to strangers because she did not comprehend the danger. It's all processing and she had not developed in that area somehow.

So before school started for the year we started therapy. She goes once a week and the therapy helps her organize her body and her thoughts so that she can better process the information around her. IT IS AMAZING! They are able to explain to me about the different activities that they do with her and why they are helpful. We know that she can't balance because she can't cross her mid line... she can't balance when going across her body with the opposite arm (like touching your right knee with your left hand) and that requires all of your body to balance when riding a bike, for example. There are so many other things that they have taught me about her and I am CERTAIN that they are a gift from the Lord.

So... today my little one brought home a report card. She can read almost 50 sight words. She is spelling and sounding out words and learning to read. She is telling time to the hour and half hour and learning to add. She is reciting Bible verses every week from memory. She is playing and maturing and can swing and hold onto monkey bars. She is doing all of this with a little support from a special needs teacher (just pulling her out to review and take tests) and she is doing it all with 20 children in her class!!!!!! It is THE MOST AMAZING THING and my husband and I read that report card with tears in our eyes. I can't stop the tears even now. We are so proud. So proud.

Her teacher has had her share of difficulties with my girl. We have been on good speaking terms all year and she has called me several times just to ask what she should do. It is frustrating to have to cater to one child when 20 need a teacher, but she has hung in there with us and it doing an incredible job!!

This past summer I went on a prayer retreat and while I was there the Lord gave me a scripture. It is 54:13 and it says, "All your sons will be taught by the Lord, and great will be your children's peace." That scripture is hanging on Caroline's bedroom door and I pray that for her every single day as we go to school. I pray that when things are hard to understand that the Lord will be her teacher. When things are hard for her teacher to understand that the Lord will give her wisdom and be Caroline's teacher THROUGH her teacher. I also pray that He will be her peace. One version says "exceedingly great peace" and that is what I pray for her so that she will be able to take it all in and not allow things to overwhelm her.

I really am so very very thankful to the Lord. He made her. He knows her and He is doing a work in her that amazes me every day. She is doing better than any of us thought by this point and is headed to first grade!! This year they gave her 3 weeks to start with just to see if she could handle it and then advised me to have another plan in place where she could get more special help than they can offer at her present school. She may not be able to stay at this school forever, but I will not make that decision now!! The Lord... who started a good work in her... is more than able to sustain her and help her make it to the 12th grade there if it is His will!!

Oh, Lord. I can not praise You enough! Your ear is not closed and Your arm is not shortened. You are able to do far more than the human eye can ever fathom and I praise Your matchless name!! You are doing a new thing (Is. 43:19) and I will praise You Lord. Apart from You and Your hand I would be wasting away in fear and doubt, but You have worked in my family and in my child and You have answered our prayers. Please Lord! Do not stop! Continue to be Caroline's teacher. Be her exceedingly great peace and show her Your ways Lord. Help her to be drawn to You so that she might know You as her Savior and Lord.

8 comments:

JenB said...

Yea Caroline! Tell her we are so proud! God is so good!
We miss you guys. See you soon.

Valarie said...

YAY GOD!!!!

And Yay LINEY!! Girl, you know I love that child and I'm so very proud of the progress I've seen in her this year! She truly is a gift!!!

I love you and will continue to pray for that sweet baby girl!
V

Stephanie said...

Praise the Lord, God can do all good thing with prayer. I am so happy for all of you, God has blessed you and has blessed Caroline with GREAT parents.

Melissa said...

ANOTHER thing that is making a difference... friends and family praying for her and pulling for us! Thank you so much! We could never have come this far without your prayers and support. You all have listened to our concerns and have encouraged us so much! LOVE YOU!

Faith said...

Oh bless! I am so proud of that Liney Lou!!! She is getting so big and I can see how the Lord is growing her into a young lady. He is doing a mighty work in her! Love that stinker! Love you too!

Speaking Thru Me Ministries said...

praising Him!!!

loving you!!

Leigh

JenB said...

Look! It looks great! Yay!

Faith said...

So pretty! You did good girl!