Well, time changes so many things. After heartache for Abbie (and this us), as well as heeding the advice of people we respect and doing research, we scheduled an appointment with the head of special education for the school district. We were pretty much determined that we would advocate for Abbie to leave the school system and attend a private school. We agreed, however, under the head of special ed's request, to allow Abbie to try the other elementary school in the district. The school is actually about 1/10 of a mile from the church where Rick works. I went and observed first, and then once I approved, Abbie began the process of moving over to the new school. Change is difficult for her, but she did really well. Now, a month later, I can honestly say it was the best decision ever. I am devastated at losing her speech therapist, who is such an amazing therapist and person, but the new environment is much more appropriate. She is integrated during the day, into a class of children that were handpicked for their good behavior and kindness to others. The classroom teacher has a much different [philosophy than her previous one. All the desks are set into small clusters, encouraging teamwork and socialization. There are 6 special education students and about 14 "typical". There is an aid that works with each cluster/group. There is a lot of group and team work. In the afternoon, Abbie is in a small class of 6 students, where there is more focused teaching and sensorimotor learning. Abbie has thrived under this. Now instead of crying and wanting us to pray the whole way to school, she talks and smiles the whole way and hen runs into school. Now we are watching to see how her learning growth goes. Thanks to everyone who has prayed for her and us.
On another front, Brooks was attacked by a dog. He went to a hug a friend's dog, and the dog went for his face. Rick was with him, and he had just started to pray with the guy when it happened. His face was bleeding, so Rick rushed him to the ER. Long story short, we saw a plastic surgeon (which was a nightmare experience for him). Now we lather him in sunscreen and are hoping the scarring is minimal. We have put getting Brooks's headshots on hold until the scars fade a bit. An agent asked to sign him, saying he would be perfect! He was such a gentleman and was talking to her like a grown up. She melted and gushed all over him. We only went to see her because ever since seeing Freckleface Strawberry (Broadway show by Julianne Moore), he has wanted to be up on stage. I was in my first play at 4 or 5, and would have killed for the opportunity that he is going to get.
Well, that is about it for now!