My oldest, Hayley, volunteers two periods of her high school day to work in the Severely Handicapped (SH) classroom at Chico High. This is her second year doing so and she truly loves it. Being that my son, and her brother, Colby (half of the highly energetic twin set) was diagnosed to fall on the Autism Spectrum, I have a special place in my heart for these kids. It also reminds me of how lucky our family truly is that Colby is high functioning–not a day goes by without a prayer of thanks for that miracle.
The kids Hayley works with are some of the more severe cases. Most with Autism or Down Syndrome, some without language and high levels of retardation. But they are a joyous bunch! They find happiness and self-satisfaction in things we mainstreamers overlook or worse, take for granted. The lovely gift pictured above is their Christmas gift to her this year. She loves them very much, hence her interest in becoming a special ed teacher.
I'm so very proud of her and the young woman she's become. Graduation is approaching much too quickly and my little girl will be all grown up. She's beautiful inside and out and I can't image life without her.
Hug your children today and be thankful for who they are. . .I know I will.
Enjoy this blessed holiday season.