Monday, December 25, 2006

open letter to our teachers

Merry, Merry Christmas our precious teachers!

I wanted to take a moment to thank you for being such awesome and invaluable influences on my family's lives.

I don't know how involved you are in the decision making process of students being accepted to Covenant, so I don't know if you ever saw our letters of application or whether you know anything of the anxiety with which Jimmy and I approached Covenant with the girls' applications. We struggled mightily for a year about whether or not to reveal their unique needs and backgrounds. Upon acceptance, we were both thrilled and amazed, but most of all humbled by God's incredible sovereignty and mercy.

The work began in earnest to ready them for what the school year would bring, primarily socially, and at summer's start, I was genuinely terrified. Camps, social skills classes, and supervised, intentional play-dates...none boded well.

Then on the precipice of school's beginning, we met their teachers. Again, we were amazed and humbled by God's sovereignty and mercy.

Each of you were hand picked by Him for our girls. We have been immeasurably blessed by y'all's steady and dedicated influence over Abby and Emma Jean this first semester. Thank you so much. Thank you.

Our family's prognosis was so grim on 12.8.2003. With help, it became increasingly brighter. And under your guidance, we are beginning to believe that it is truly unlimited.

Over the break, we have been blown away by their absorption of what y'all have imparted to them this first semester: Scripture, history, architecture, art appreciation, patience...I could go on and on. You have exceeded every expectation for excellence that we could have dreamed up. Thank you. We are blessed beyond reason by your gifts.We wish you and yours the very best Christmas and New Year's holidays. God bless you.

In HIM with thanks and love,

Jimmy and Susan

O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."

Isaiah 30:19-21

Sunday, December 24, 2006

miracle on church street

Our church did not offer childcare tonight for children over the age of four. Jimmy and I were both concerned that the girls would not be able to tolerate the adult service: loud music, lights, sitting still...

Prayerfully, we chose not to say anything to the girls before today. When we did, we spoke to the girls about what the deal was and what to expect. We assured them that WE were confident that they could do it, but that if we decided it was too uncomfortable, then we would depart and that noone would be in trouble. Not with mommy and daddy and certainly not with God.

Emma Jean was plainly very anxious. Then in a stroke of luck (if you believe in such a thing), we saw her teacher's family and for some reason that relaxed her a bit. Abby was fidgety, but not to the point of distraction.

WE DID IT! The family shue sat all together for a very special Christmas worship service. We sang songs, prayed, took communion, and listened to the lesson (click HERE to see the unbelievably timely reference our pastor used tonight) without incident. Jimmy and I were so proud. Needless to say all my carefully applied eye makeup was gone by the service's end.

I already got the best Christmas present ever....peace in His presence as a family. Praise God!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Dr. Temple Grandin on Google Video

I am a big fan of Dr. Grandin. I first read of her in Dr. Sacks' book (of whom I am also a big fan) and have since heard her speak a few times and I have read everything she has written. She is a remarkable voice in this world.
Video documentary of woman who thinks like a cow
Animal science expert and author Temple Grandin is autistic, and she says she can understand animals because of this. Google Video has her full length documentary.

Her story first became known as she was included as a case study in neurologist Oliver Sacks' book An Anthropologist on Mars.

Interestingly, Grandin suggests that her autism helps her understand animals, as she suggests they have similar styles of thinking in some instances.

In the programme, Grandin explains her work and views on autism. Furthermore, the documentary highlights her as a bright and engaging person, far from the usual stereotypes of autistic people.

Click HERE.
  • International Day of Prayer for Autism & Asperger's Syndrome