We have found a happy medium to our routine and in Hayden's intervention services. She has made such amazing progress since starting school in August. It is truly remarkable to watch her bloom in her ability to hold brief conversations, answer our questions appropriately and in context, and even joke with us. There are still areas of challenge within the scope of her communication abilities as well as sensory sensitivities and lack of age-appropriate social skills. But one day at a time! We know that she is progressing and growing and are just in awe, watching her do so. In addition to her speech and occupational therapy appointments, we have added a physical therapy appointment. We are looking, also, to add one more day of physical therapy that would be specifically for therapies in a pool! Also, we are hoping to begin Stepping Stones, which is a social skills group for children with autism. Here is a quote describing what Stepping Stones is:
"The Stepping Stones Program provides quality, specialized services for children and adolescents diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) between the ages of 3-7 and 8-14. This 52-week alternative program is designed to be a “step-down” from traditional 1:1 in-home BHRS services and can be offered in preparation for transition to school/group programs, as a complement to half-day school programs, or as an after-school or summer program.
Target skill areas include: independence, communication skills, parallel and interactive play skills, peer interaction, transitioning, sensory integration, self-awareness, environmental awareness, attention to task, and problem-solving.
Child to staff ratio is maintained at 2:1, and every site is coordinated by a Master’s Level clinician. Clinical supervision is provided by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst."
With all of this going on, we are looking at a schedule that will quite possibly take up every afternoon/early evening in the week. I'm hoping that we can harbor one week day evening a week for our family time, just to be together.
In other family news, we have found a church that we just love. We are very excited about what God is doing in our life in the way of our new church home. It is called the Bible Chapel. We were attending the main campus in McMurray, PA, which is about a 15-20 minute drive from home. We like the doctrinal beliefs of the church, pastor's sermons, and the fact that they have a special needs ministry. But the church, on the whole, is very large. This made Kelly feel somewhat uneasy and made me feel that getting connected would be difficult. But on the Sunday just after Thanksgiving, the church opened a new campus in Washington which is more like a 10 minute drive and is in the community where Kelly works. And this campus is smaller, which gives us a much better opportunity to get connected and become part of this church family. The building that was purchased was erected in 1867 and has been renovated, repainted, and cleaned up. The church was able to buy the building for only $100,000. It is truly a God-thing and we are excited at the prospect of being apart of what God is going to do at this new campus.
We continue to meet people, make friends, and forge new relationships in this place. We are very happy here. Who knew we'd end up as Yankees? :) Overall, we are 100% certain of God's providence in this move and as we approach our one year mark (Wow, has it really been a year?!) we thank Him for His sovereignty in our lives. Hoping you are all well in this new year and may God bless you!