Pray for Anne…

September 2014’s prayer requests:

Please pray for Anne…

  1. Anne has had a great start in school. Her reading has improved and her teachers are impressed with her academic progress!
  2. Even though Anne is progressing academically, she is struggling behaviorally. Her shortened attention span and increased impulsive behavior negatively affect her academic performance. Over the next few months, we will inquire with several doctors about medications to improve Anne’s attention. Please pray for wisdom as we begin this new journey.
  3. Finally, please pray for God to give Anne PATIENCE. Anne’s desire for independence has increased (which is wonderful), but…her frustration level has also increased. She needs a healthy balance between determination and patience.

Thank you for your prayers!!! Your continued prayer and support after all these years is so encouraging to our family!

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Pray for Anne…

August 2014’s prayer requests:

Please pray for Anne…

  1. Anne starts school August 4th. Please pray for a smooth transition to 3rd grade. Pray for Anne’s teachers – that God would give them special wisdom for how to teach Anne well.
  2. Please pray for Anne to make great progress in reading and math this year.
  3. Please also pray that Anne would experience the peace and presence of God in special and significant ways.
  4. Finally, I humbly ask you to pray for me. After 10 glorious years of being a stay-at-home mom, I’m re-entering the workforce! I begin my new job as Latin Teacher at ACCA tomorrow (Canon and Kate’s school). I need God’s help as I try to balance my new responsibilities as a teacher with my ongoing work at home.

Thank you for your prayers!!! Your continued prayer and support after all these years is so encouraging to our family!

Camp TBI Update

Anne has done GREAT at overnight camp! She’s participated in swimming, archery, canoeing, crafts, music, games and even singing and dancing on stage!! 100_6714

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100_6385We are picking her up tomorrow morning, and she starts school on Monday. We have officially survived the summer! Anne has done so well, and we look forward to what God has in store for Anne this school year. Thank you for your prayers and support and love for Anne and the rest of us Jacksons :)

Pray for Anne…

July 2014’s prayer requests:

Please pray for Anne…

  1. Praise God that Anne’s seizures seem to have subsided along with her extreme emotional outbursts! Anne has become her delightful self again – bringing us joy with her quick wit and loving attitude :)
  2. We also praise God for an outstanding time at a summer day-camp for special needs kids and their siblings. Anne and Kate both attended and came away with great memories and a closer relationship.
  3. Finally, Anne has been accepted into her first ever overnight camp!! It’s a camp specifically for kids with traumatic brain injuries. Camp TBI (To Be Independent) is held at an accessible camp facility and provides one-on-one counselors (all of which are OT students) for their campers. As the date for this camp approaches, I’ll ask for prayer for Anne to ease her homesickness.

Thank you for your prayers!!! Your continued prayer and support after all these years is an inspiration to our family!

A special-needs summer

One month ago, I spent an evening with a few close friends from church. It was a refreshing time of food, laughter and good conversation. We ended the evening in prayer for one another and it hit me in that moment that I was very-much-anxious about the summer. I confessed my anxiety in prayer and my sweet friends comforted me with their presence while I had a good cry!

Why does summer create such anxiety in me? One very wise woman commented on my blog recently,

People who don’t have a special needs child have no idea what “summers” look like. It’s not sleeping in late, lounging around eating meals whenever, etc.but it is constant stress of always making every opportunity a learning experience. Yikes this is hard and some days almost impossible to accomplish.

She nailed it. So what I’ve tried to do is walk the fine line between spending every moment working with Anne and letting Anne watch videos all day! I think the key to this balance is to give the burden to Jesus – let him carry my stress and let him give me the endurance to teach Anne.

It’s a daily battle, but I think it’s going well so far. Each week has presented a little different schedule and/or challenge providing us with the variety I need to endure. I’ve also lifted the burden by having a few people come to work/play with Anne each week.

Another highlight of our summer is that I’ve scheduled two camps for Anne which provide respite for me! Her first camp is this week, and her second camp is at the end of the summer. I’m so thankful for organizations like FOCUS and the Walton Foundation for providing accessible camps for kids like my Anne!

But I think the best thing about this summer is that Anne is thriving! Her seizures and irritability have diminished resulting in her being delightful and fun. I love my time with Anne! We are working on potty training and reading. She is doing well on both goals – staying dry and reading longer sentences.

This past week, I met the same friends who comforted me in my anxiety a month ago. Their first question was, “How’s the summer going?” It was such a relief that I was able to say, “Great!” God has supplied our every need. He always does. I don’t know why I ever worry ;)

Pray for Anne…

June 2014’s prayer requests:

Please pray for Anne…

  1. Summer is in full swing and I’m already tired and overwhelmed. Please pray for patience for both Anne and me. For me, to tackle one task at a time – and for Anne, to wait for me to tackle one task at a time ;)
  2. Anne is having micro-seizures that cause her to have extreme temper tantrums. Thankfully, they are short. Please pray for these seizures to subside either on their own or with increased medication.
  3. Lastly, please pray for Anne’s encouragement – spiritually, emotionally and just with pure fun. It’s summer after all … we’re supposed to have fun!

Thank you so much! Your continued prayer and support after all these years is an inspiration to our family!

My end-of-the-school-year Rant

Instead of joining everyone in ranting about how crazy the end of school is, I’ve decided to just go MIA. I watch the emails pile up in my inbox about this end-of-the-year party and that end-of-the-year party and I can’t keep track of them. I didn’t show for my oldest’s party, and I didn’t help with my youngest’s party. I didn’t even contribute food to Anne’s end-of-the-year breakfast. I am the worst end-of-the-year mom ever.

But what I have been doing is trying to prepare myself for the even harder months of June and July – those months when Anne (+ the other two kiddos) are home all day. Anne requires tons of attention and time to keep her from regressing over the summer. I have to keep her mind engaged and provide new challenges. It’s work,  joyful work, but work none-the-less.

The one end-of-the-year event I did purpose to attend was Anne’s award’s ceremony. In fact, the whole family came! This year, her special education teacher chose Anne as the “Academic Student of the Year.” Anne was given a medal in front of 400 students. Afterward she said, “I was so embarrassed!” That statement, alone, is proof of her progress as it reveals a new level of self-awareness that we haven’t seen before!

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This is what Anne’s teacher said as she presented her award:

The year’s Academic Student of the Year in Ms. Adrienne’s Class is someone who has not only improved academically in all areas, but has improved in being able to work independently and in having appropriate social interactions with her classmates and teachers. In addition, this student has mastered many of her gross and fine motor skills and is starting to walk around the school building regularly with hand held adult assistance or her walker. This student’s success is attributed to not only the student working hard, but also the support she has received from a variety of teachers and therapists. Most of all, the support this student receives from her family and her church is what has helped her to achieve her goals. We are pleased to announce Anne Jackson as Academic Student of the Year. Way to Go!! We are very proud of you!!

We are so proud of Anne. Thank you for your prayers and support of Anne and our family. Your support, prayers and encouragement have been multiplied through Anne so that an entire school has taken notice. May God receive all the glory!

Pray for Anne…

May 2014’s prayer requests:

Please pray for Anne…

  1. Anne’s self-awareness has improved so much that now she becomes extremely angry when she doesn’t get what she wants or has to wait to get what she wants. She screams, cries and bites. Her biting is dangerous because sometimes she bites herself. Please pray that Anne would learn to control her anger and for us as we try to calm her during her anger spells.
  2. Summer is almost here! Please pray stamina as I seek to find new ways to challenge Anne this summer.
  3. Please continue to pray for Anne’s walking and reading. She has made great strides in her walking and small strides in her reading. I’m praying for her reading ability to explode this summer!

Thank you so much! Your continued prayer and support after all these years is an inspiration to our family!

TheraSuit Year 3: Wrap Up

Anne finished her third week of Intensive TheraSuit Therapy strong!

It will take a few months for Anne’s muscles to recover and heal, but if the results are similar to the last two years’ sessions, then we’ll see a big cognitive and physical boost 3-4 months from now.

Thank you for your prayers for Anne. She stayed healthy (even though all of her family battled severe colds), and she stayed strong!

Here’s a short video of her walking in the “suit” with a cane at the end of the 3rd week… Notice how she introduces herself at the end of the video. Anne never meets a stranger :)

TheraSuit Year 3: Week one update

Anne had a fantastic first week!

I think Anne has finally reached a point in her cognitive recovery where she realizes she has a brain injury AND she understands she has to work to get better. Because of this realization, she is determined in therapy. I’ve never seen Anne work so hard with such a great attitude! I’m so proud of her.

One of the ways TheraSuit therapy works is through the unique design of the “suit.” Every movement is more difficult in the suit. It’s sort of like a baseball player taking practice swings with weights on his bat. When he steps up to the plate, the regular bat feels lighter and easier to swing. Similarly, when Anne performs all of her exercises in the “suit,” she is able to strengthen so many muscles at once – making it easier for her to move without the suit. One highlight of the week was Anne’s ability to walk on the treadmill. She walked 20 minutes on the treadmill while wearing the suit! That’s a huge accomplishment for Anne.

Another praise from the week was that God preserved Anne’s health. This is truly miraculous as Kate, Canon and Eric have all fought off horrible colds with fever and severe congestion. Please pray that Anne and I continue to stay healthy throughout the next two weeks.

Thank you!

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