Wednesday, June 3, 2009

She's a Graduation Girl!

Hooray for my brave, smart and beautiful Kindergarten grad! She has come so far over the past year with a fantastic teacher, continued therapy and God's grace and power.

This is Noelle's amazing teacher! We will miss her!

The beginning of the school year started with many tears and tantrums, anxiety, and sensory overload. Her school picture tells it all. It is quite obvious she had been crying with her red rimmed eyes and sad, crooked little smile. PE class was the the worst for her because of the noise level and the chaos. Every Friday we had the "PE mega meltdown" before and after school. Her anxiety at school was so great that she needed her special box of sensory stuff to help her calm down (she had chewable jewelry, a stress ball, a soft piece of flannel, and a small weighted pillow that I made for her--I would highly recommend putting together a kit like this if your child has anxiety and sensory issues). She had to take the state standardized reading test with a familiar adult and her soft blankie from home. To sum it up, my girl needed a LOT of tender loving care to adjust.

What a difference a school year makes!

I was so proud of Noelle today I could hardly contain it! She walked right into the loud, crowded gym, filled with strangers and she had a huge smile on her face when she finally spotted us in the crowd. She sang all of the songs and even did the hand motions. Then she walked down the risers when her name was called to get her diploma. She acted just like all the other kids!

She was also so excited about going to first grade which is a small miracle considering that she absolutely freaked out when we first started talking to her about it several months ago.

God has been so good to us! I'm so grateful for his guidance and love for us this year. He has met us through all of the challenges of raising our special girl!


Becky said...

What a beautiful post and BEAUTIFUL little girl. I love the picture of Joel and Noelle. I'm celebrating with you!

Tell her we said Congratulations!

Chelsea said...

Praise God! Love the sensory "kit!" What an innovative, do-whatever-it-takes Mama!!! Great Job Noelle!!!

Mom to 5...Daughter of the King said...

Jen, what a gorgeous giril you hve!! I hope Charis has a teacher that is willing to work that hard with her next year!

Daughter of the King said...

awesome mom! I also love the sensory kit. I might have to put one of those together as well, although Bethany now loves PE after all the neuo-work she has done. Congratulations Noelle!!