I am welcoming 2012 with open arms. A new year for us all, a fresh start, changes for the better...yes please!
2011 was a tough one for us, definitely a growing year for our family.
Ellie: We have a new book in our house that could have been made just for Ellie. All Cats have Asperger's Syndrome is a sweet, beautiful, easy to understand book about the similarities cats and people with Asperger's Syndrome have. Ellie was diagnosed with this Autism Spectrum Disorder a couple of weeks ago, and we're learning what that means for our family. We're reading books, talking to experts, and becoming experts ourselves, all to help our sweet girl.
She is so sweet, in so many ways, but she struggles so much, so VERY much, in so many ways. Her sensory processing problems are still very severe. A few days ago she couldn't handle the feeling of wrapping paper under her hands. Her inability to socialize well is hard to understand. I have high hopes for her for this year though, as we continue with her therapies. She's getting a lot of help, and I am excited to see how she improves.
Ellie takes a class at the local zoo every month. She's a member of Roots and Shoots, a wonderful program started by Jane Goodall. Animals are joy for Ellie, and this class is offering incredible experiences to her. At her last zoo class Ellie got to feed a male tiger, and pet a female tiger. She is still beaming. She couldn't wait to tell me all about it. Her eyes sparkled as she explained how it all worked. She was grinning as she recounted how they put a ball of meat on a stick to feed the male tiger. I was in awe as she described the feel of the female tigers furry tail. Amazing.
We've had some other challenges this year too, some good, some not so good. Austin's ears are still quite a challenge, and he has been struggling with some social things at school and now we're working on figuring out why. Our family business is expanding, and opening in a new location tomorrow. That's been a very exciting, and exhausting adventure. The rest of us have pushed through this year, and we're ready for a better one!
So Happy New Year! Praying it's a banner year for us all!