Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart




Last night Ashley Kate met with a new therapist. The therapist was wonderful! As was Ashley Kate while relating to her. Dave and I are SO excited about this! We see so much potential just waiting to come out. She is fluent in ASL and taught us so much in just our initial session last night with Ash. She works with our physical therapist who happens to be the owner of Kids First Therapy here in Longview. Anyway, if you need the best PT in east Tx let me know and I'll hook you up.

But...thats, not what this story is about. This little post is about what happened at the end of our session with our sweet, sweet baby girl.

So, Ash spent much of the last half of her therapy session looking through and really enjoying the PECS book that was introduced last night. Remember me sharing about that a while back? The whole using pictures to communicate with others who may not know or be familiar with sign? Ashley LOVED the book that was brought. Problem being it was just an example of what is to come later. It wasn't hers to keep. Unfortunately for our sweet girl she's never played with anything that wasn't hers to keep, therefore, we have never taken something from her and told her that "no, she can't play with it anymore." Do you see where I'm headed? It was the funniest yet saddest thing I've ever seen happen. Honestly, it was all I could do not to laugh hysterically at my daughter's tantrum, but I needed to behave as an adult and as a parent and try to gain control of the situation. Notice I said "try".

Ash lost it. I mean totally and completely lost it! At the beginning of our session(remember it was the first one) her therapist asked Dave and I if Ash acted out. Huh? Of course not. She doesn't was my reply. At least, she never had before(except for the one time she just had to have that Signing Time DVD that I wasn't going to purchase 3 weeks before Christmas. Trust me that was nothing). "Does she bang her head on the floor or hit or bite or throw tantrums when she can't communicate what she wants. I mean, its normal behavior for children who can't speak." Uh, no was my answer. Of course she doesn't. She's pretty happy most of the time unless she's hurting. "Well, does she get angry when you tell her no?" My answer? I've never really told her no, so I guess not.

Boy or boy would those words turn around and bite me in the you know what in just a matter of an hour. I have never told Ash no. I have never seen her really not understand why she couldn't have what she wanted. I have never seen a tantrum like the one my princess threw last night. NEVER. I mean it when I say NEVER.

It was awful. It really and truly was. Dave eventually walked out of the room. Allie was demanding we just give her the book. She didn't understand why we were doing that to her. Blake? Thank God he wasn't home from church yet. I KNOW he would have been ANGRY with me for allowing this to "happen" to Ash. I sat there stunned trying to explain and sign to Ashley that the book didn't belong to her, but that she could read one of her own books. Our therapist explained and signed to her that it was her book and that she could look at it next week. Nothing was working. NOTHING. Ashley screamed, and hit, and banged her head, and scooted herself as close to the book as she could (that was now hidden behind the therapist). She signed please, then thank you, then please, then cry, then sad, then please, then thank you convinced we would hand her the book if she was just polite enough. Then she looked at me and signed for me to be sorry and to give her the book. She threw every single book of hers that I tried to hand her. I honestly did not know what to do. It broke my heart, but yet one little part of my heart was thrilled to see it happening. I'm not sure if you can understand that last sentence or not. You see our Ashley has been labeled as being around 6months old. No matter how intelligent she is since she can't(or refuses to) stack a series of 3 and then 6 blocks she just can't "advance" any higher on the evaluation forms. Its so frustrating for us as her parents. Ashley is so smart. She is always thinking. Always learning. Always proving "them" wrong. Maybe not in front of them, but every single day in her home she blows us away with her intelligence and desire to learn. So when she pulled out all the stops to get what she wanted it wasn't that she was just being spoiled or behaving like a brat. It was that she was being 3 (not 6 months) and that she was using everything she knew to use to achieve a goal. Her goal.

Now, in the end she lost, but the process was amazing to watch. In some weird sense. It just was. My sweet baby lay in her crib sleeping looking more and more like a little girl to me last night and all I could do was shake my head back and forth and share with Dave that I was blown away. Never again will I say that my daughter doesn't act up. If a therapist asks me if she acts out I'll pause a moment or two, allow a smile to creep across my face, and then nod my head yes. Yes, she can, and she might. Lets just wait and see.

I might even feel the tiniest sense of pride well up in my heart because you see, I've been on the longest journey of my life with this child of mine and its been bitter at times and then its become sweet only to return to the bitter. Last night was just sweet. It was oh so sweet and I'm grateful for it and maybe even a little bit proud. I hope you can understand that and I have a feeling that most of you will.

Enjoy your weekends. Were off to the ballpark in just a few hours and will return sometime on Sunday. If our boys do what their capable of it'll be a long one. If not then I'm sure it will be a learning experience and packed full of memories we can hang on to for a long, long time. Take care my friends. God bless. Trish


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