God doesn't give children with special needs to strong people; He gives children with special needs to ordinary, weak people and then gives them strength. Raising a child with special needs doesn't take a special family, it makes a special family.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ok, well we survived Brenden's first week of school. I can finally breathe a huge sigh of relief. I knew he would love school...he is a social butterfly. But he has NEVER been left with strangers so I wasn't quite sure how he would adjust. Jonathan and I were both able to take him on the first day....let's just say it was a bit chaotic. We are coming in mid-year so everything at the school runs like a well-oiled machine. Drop off is at 8:05, but by the time all the buses get unloaded it's about 8:15. And since we transport, we have to wait until the last bus pulls out to drop Brenden off. Initially, drop off would consist of me having to get both kids anad the walker out of the car and in to the classroom to sign Brenden in. Needless to say, I'm only one person so that was next to impossible! PT initially wanted Brenden to be pushed into the classroom in a stroller because she was worried he would lose out on time in the classroom since he is still a bit on the slow side. Well after seeing how well he does using his walker, she told the teacher they could let him walk in. So now, the aide meets me at the car, walks in with Brenden and she signs him in so I don't have to get Madelynn out. Now we just have to figure out a similar routine for pickup.....
Of course I cried that first morning. But 3 hours later when we went to pick him up, I saw him having fun and I could finally stop worrying. He was exhausted, but wasted no time telling Jonathan, Madelynn, and I about his day. He tells me so many off the wall things when he comes home, some I'm not so sure are true, but it's really hard to tell. By the end of the week Ms. Sue, his teacher, told me how impressed they all are with how well he is able to get around in the classroom with his walker. He has gotten really, really good turning it so he is able to use it more and more in school. There are still some times he gets pushed in a stroller...for example to get to the cafeteria...because it's a bit far from the classroom so by the time he got there, breakfast would be over. One of our IEP goals is for him to be able to use the walker to access the entire school, it's just going to take some time for him to get stronger and faster.
When I dropped him off Thursday, he got out of the car and walked right in with the aide, never looking back. In that moment I realized just how far he has come and how proud I am of him. He continues to amaze me with his progress lately and for that I thank God everyday. This time last year I never imagined he would have come so far in such little time.
In just a few short weeks Horses With Hearts starts back up again and we are so ready for Brenden to start riding. This program has been such a blessing to us in so many ways and we have missed all the volunteers that grew to love Brenden. Hopefully Brenden will pick back up where he left off and won't have any apprehension to riding!!
And last but not least, Brenden has a new set of wheels!! For several months we have been talking about getting Brenden an Amtryke. For those of you who don't know, Amtryke designs trykes and bikes for children and adults with mobility challenges. The one we had been looking at for Brenden had hand controls as well as foot pedals, which would allow him to use his arms to pedal the bike until he was able to use the foot pedals. The only hurdle, was the cost. Long story short, several weeks ago I received an email from Kay, who runs Horses with Hearts. She asked if we would be interested in getting an Amtryke for Brenden, not knowing that we had been looking at them! She had a contact in Pennsylvania who was a member of Ambucs, an organization that helps kids get Amtrykes. God's timing is perfect!! Brenden's birthday money went towards the bike, and the remaining portion was provided by the Ambucs chapter. He was presented with the bike this evening! It still needs to be adjusted to fit him, but by Summer he will be crusin' right along!!

My little musician :)

Excited to go to his first day of preschool!

His new ride :)


Grandmaw Jean and Pappy said...

God is so good. He has truly blessed us with Brenden. To see him grow and do blesses us every day. I love his new ride. Can' wait until we see him cruising the driveway. PTL indeed PTL

SUE said...

awesome, awesome, awesome!!
Keep up the great work, B!! God is so great!!!!!