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Yearly Rituals and Progress Reports

September 21, 2010

My Lil started 3rd grade this year, so she and Rosie are again on different campuses. It’s been a big transition for both of them this year as they also started riding the bus. We’ve had our rocky moments, that’s for sure, but as Lil’s teacher said last night, “It’s all good; every day is a brand new day.” Ah, that’s the perfect attitude for a third grade teacher to have. Doesn’t hurt to have that same attitude as a parent, either.

While we’ve had rocky moments (and some spectacular meltdowns at home, some right on the heels of stepping off the bus), we’ve also seen some wonderful progress with both girls, and it was really evident last night at Lil’s open house. Last year’s open house was a completely different ballgame; kids saw the girls, said hi, but the girls didn’t respond, didn’t even notice, despite my prompting to respond. This year, though, Lil’s head was up, she was actively scanning, saying hi to kids (often first) and adults and always introducing Rosie, “This is my little sister, Rosie.” She even told her teacher we were her parents, which had me giggling. Rosie was her quiet self, but she hugged the adults she was introduced to, told them she calls hugs presents, and in doing so also showed how much progress she’s made, too. Is it still obvious they have autism? Yeah, I don’t think that’s going to go away, and I’m not pretending we don’t have challenges to deal with, but I’m going to celebrate this improvement in social skills as the heartwarming progress it is while I buckle down to help them build on it. And I’m gonna note for the record that in the third grade I wasn’t really talking to the other kids and I wouldn’t have been any more thrilled at 8 to navigate through the crush of hundreds of kids and parents than I was last night at the ripe old age of 42. So kudos to my girl for pushing her way through that crowd with her head up and a huge smile on her face. She was confidence supreme, and I’m hoping some of that rubs off on me. 🙂

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