This morning began with a group of very nice visitors — the principal, special services coordinator and special ed teacher from Abbie’s potential school, along with another woman from the district, came to see Abbie and what she’s been up to lately. The Purple Board was front and center as they walked through the door.
Abbie was a little sleepy, but did do some math problems. I also showed them the book where Rae is carefully recording her progress. As I told them “She’s changed since the meeting on September 15th”, the depth of that understatement made me smile. They were very interested in all of her curriculum, and in her general needs. They are open to me going to class with her to train everyone, and help them get to know Abbie better — which is huge relief for me. Her class already has 5 kids with wheelchairs, so she will feel right at home. But, we will talk more next week about mainstreaming time with regular ed. classes. Her intelligence and ability to learn rapidly is making me think more and more that she belongs with regular kids, learning the same material, and expressing her knowledge in adapted ways. I also think being around kids who walk, talk, interact and learn quickly will be motivating and enjoyable for Abbie. We’ll see.. But, the bottom line for today’s visit is that I was really encouraged by how kind, open, and interested the staff members were.
After the visit, Abbie began working on her Cubbie verses. Which, for most of you requires a little backstory. “Cubbies” is the preschool section of a church program called Awana that all our boys did. As Cubbies, the twins wore bright blue vests, and earned patches for the vests by memorizing verses.
Shortly before she was injured, we were cleaning out the garage. Abbie found her brothers’ old vests, along with a “Cubbie Bear” backpack. She promptly donned both things and marched around the garage proclaiming that she would soon be a Cubbie. September wasn’t too far away, so I was excited to think about her being a Cubbie, too.
That September is long gone now, along with that sassy two-year-old. However, as she began blossoming lately I thought, “I bet she can memorize verses!” Cubby verses are short and simple, so I figured that would be a good starting place. I asked my friend Sandra, an Awana leader, if she could get a book for Abbie.
Well, Sandra mentioned this to one of my favorite ladies at church, who wishes to remain unnamed, but is the Cubbie’s leader. She said, “Oh – not only will I get a book for her, but also a Cubbie bear and the finger puppets that go along with the story. I was waiting for her that fall, and so looking forward to her being a Cubbie…”
I wept when Sandra told me that — even now, we are not the only recalling the loss.
Abbie was THRILLED when I showed her the Cubby bear, and kept the finger puppets on for hours. Then, the work began. I introduced about six verses, to catch up to session three, where the group is now at. I told Rae all about it this morning, and we devised a way to test Abbie’s memory. The deal is – if she memorizes the verse, she gets a sticker for her book, so she is VERY motivated.
I’d written the verse in entirety on an index card, and then each word separately on cards. We put the whole verse up and had her find the words in order. Then we took the verse card down, put some of the words up and had her fill in the blanks, which she easily did. Lastly, we took everything down, and Rae simply said, “I want to see if you’ve memorized it” without even detailing what “it” was.
Abbie correctly chose every word, in order, without missing once. She then picked out the Scripture reference from a choice of three. Here’s what she “said”
“He made all things beautiful. Ecclesiastes 3:11″