Before getting going here, I would like to thank all of you for your feedback, encouragement and suggestions! I want to share a couple fun stories first. Then, I have a story, which I hope will excite and inspire you, as it did me. I will save the best for last.
My first story goes back to when Alyssa was 1 ½ years old. I went to JC Penney to do a little shopping. Mostly, this shopping was for Alyssa. I pushed the stroller and walked through the store, carefully going up and down the isles and around each rack. When I was finished, I went to the register, paid and went directly to the vehicle with the intention to leave. I unloaded my bag, then proceeded with Alyssa to her side of the vehicle. As I leaned over to pull her from the stroller, I realized, Alyssa had a slew of clothes stashed in and around her. OH MY GOSH!!! She's a thief! I rushed back into the store. I went to the closest cashier and said “I need to return these clothes, my daughter stashed them into her stroller”. The lady looked straight at me and said “would you like to exchange them or have a credit?” I exclaimed, “No, no, I am not returning them for exchange, I am returning them because they are not mine”. She looked so confused. Then, she says, “so, would you like a credit?” I slowed myself down and carefully explained the entire situation. I never realized how hard it could be to do the honorable thing. After that point, it was very clear, Alyssa needed some real attending to at the mall. Lucky I didn’t get arrested. Funny, she does not like to step foot in a store these days…. Maybe it’s because she didn’t get away with shop lifting.
This next story happened on New Years Eve; Alyssa was barely 3 years old. We went to sushi, for an early dinner. This particular restaurant is busy from the time they open their doors, until closing. They don’t waste space with seating. Because we had a child, they considered us to be more like 2, instead of 3 people and sat us at a very small table, squished amongst other small tables. Alyssa hadn’t had sushi before, this was all new territory. We thought it would be best to start her with some tempura veggies. We ordered a sushi roll for ourselves. The veggies came and Alyssa immediately pushed them away. She went right for the sushi and LOVED it! When the plate was clear, Alyssa looked behind her, turned around and helped herself to the sushi roll on the table behind us. She had a graceful ease about her. It was embarrassing and adorable, at the same time. Of course, there was no hesitation to replace the roll for the other diners. Yet, we realized quickly, it was time to get out of there. I knew sushi was expensive, but Alyssa’s appetite, along with her desire to share with neighborly diners, was certainly going to break the bank.
Yesterday, Alyssa did the most AMAZING and awesome thing. When we got home from school, I unloaded her things, while she ran about and emptied her basket of toys into the middle of the room seeking what she wanted to play with. Since, she seemed fairly occupied; I decided to check my email. I started to reply to a friend, when I realized, Alyssa needed to go to the bathroom. I was too late and disaster struck. I raced her upstairs for a bath, forgetting about the email I was replying to. After her bath, I proceeded to “chore-land” with the intention to continue working on the never-ending feat, called laundry. I transferred everything, started another load and went to fold and put the dry ones away. As this was going on, Alyssa was delightfully jumping on the bed. When she was done, she took off for downstairs. I finished making her bed, and then followed. When I got about half way down the stairs, I could hear Alyssa saying the alphabet. As I got closer, I could hear her plunking the keys on the computer. I slowly walked over, working my way behind her, to see what was happening. This is what she typed….
My email was still open and she had simply sat down and started typing, while saying her letters aloud. I was so excited, my eyes were filled with tears, my heart with joy. Why all the fuss? Read on….
A while back, a friend of mine sent me the most beautiful You Tube video. This video is of another young girl who has Autism. Her name is Carly. After watching the “Carly video", I couldn’t get my hands on a computer fast enough for Alyssa. Not only did I get her a computer, this computer has touch screen capabilities, since Alyssa has not mastered the concept of the mouse. Over the past couple of years, the school has incorporated the use of computers into Alyssa’s technology plan, to assist her with learning activities. We continue to see Alyssa take interest in the computer and she has demonstrated learning, as well. Carly's story has inspired me and been part of my hope with Alyssa. I look at my beautiful young daughter and I pray, she too, will be able to express herself.. And, yesterday, just yesterday, I got to see the computer come to life, with Alyssa behind it, no help, just her!
I have included the link to the “Carly” video for your viewing pleasure. Have a great day!!! Angie
p.s. I originally planned to write about something else. Yesterday's event changed my plan. :)