Finding her place!

This year Alyssa found something she felt part of. Well in all actuality it was the people she met who made her feel she belonged. Each year we go to Valley Scare during the Halloween season. Pretty much we go every weekend. Well this year she found some people who worked for the park, actors, actors who are there to scare. Alyssa of course wasn’t scared though, Alyssa found a group called “The Demon Corps“. I know they may sound scary but they are in fact the opposite of that. They are compassionate. They just took her in to their ranks and made her feel part of something special.

Here is how it all began:
1st and 2nd visit:
It was like no other normal day at “Valley Scare“. But something about the people in these pictures stood out to her. She gravitate to them. She wasn’t afraid, she just went for it. Shy at first but then opening up.

the-beginning

You can see she is in her pink shirt the first day she. That guy right there in that first picture, Yup, his name is Nick better known as “Clicks“. Then the next weekend she met the Gypsy fortune tellers who told her to stay true to herself and keep doing her thing, she adored them. Then that same night she watched “The Demon Corps” show. The Demon Corps is a group of friends who are the sliders of Valley Scare. They have their knee pads, steal toes and metal on their gloves.. They run up and drop down sliding to and from scaring the crap out of people left and right. But not Alyssa..

3rd visit:
This visit, Alyssa went with her own knee pads, and duct tape on her shoes… She also was waiting patiently for a sweatshirt from the corp.

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She was prepared. She went to Valley Scare ready to be one of them. Here she is getting her sweat shirt from the group.. I think this moment hit me pretty good. To see her reaction when she got it and to see her confidence uplifted was an accomplishment in the making. Seeing how when she put the makeup on she felt she could speak up, walk tall and be proud was an amazing feeling.

You can see her in action right here..

Weekday work time:
This happened to be during the week of MEA weekend so there was no school on Thursday and Friday. This means its go to work with mom days! She sure was prepared too. She brought her colors and paper and she made the group a picture. This picture had a personal drawing of each member of the group (Clicks, Giggles, Raven, Sly, Skitzo, Stitches,Sparkles, Scabs). She was so excited to give it to them!

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Now Alyssa is a very smart little girl, She tries to do everything just right. By this I mean when she sets her sites on something, she normally will get it done. So true to herself she took it upon herself at first to find the materials to make the gloves this group of amazing people had. She went to her dads tool box looking for anything she could try and put onto a glove. Finally dad stepped in and took over. He figured it out and went to work making her very own pair of sliding gloves.. Minus flint!

Final night:
As the days passed for Alyssa all she could think about and talk about was The Demon Corps. She corrected us when we said a name wrong or talked about how they were sliding. This kid memorized everything. She practiced in the driveway, she looked on YouTube for makeup ideas. She took my phone to look at Instagram to see their pictures. She said they were a part of her now. She knew what she wanted to do whens he got older.

So we took her to the last night of Valley Scare for the year. We walked around and of course she walked tall, she had her makeup, her metal shoes and gloves, she had her hoodie and she had her friends. She felt amazing and I felt amazing knowing my kid who doesn’t have many friends, my kid who struggles with relationships and boundaries, my kid who doesn’t have a place of her own. Yeah, my kid now feels she does. Even if its for a few weekends out of the year.

last-show

These are the people who accepted her faults, They put up with her stalking, and they let her in. These are the people who let her be part of the show even in the background. The pictures are not great but the feeling is.

The Demon Corps

Final night with her people!

This is her last picture. Her sad face says it all.. But the memories will always be there for her.

Here is my side note to anyone with a kid in Minnesota with a disability. Check out this groups Facebook page. Like it and check up. See when they will be out and about doing things. They are 100% amazing and I trust them wholeheartedly. If they can make my kid feel a part of something that is real to her then they can make your kids feel special too!

Donation for the K-9’s

Alyssa has been selling her homemade dog treats at a local sewing shop. And to many friends and family. She had raised $200 total so far. Well, last night she got to deliver her donation to the Eden Prairie Police K-9 unit – Crime Prevention Fund. It was amazing, She got to meet Riggs (pictured) one of the K-9 dogs in our city. She brought with her a bag of her treats for both dogs as well as a toy she picked out for each.

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Alyssa with K-9 Riggs!

Riggs loved the toy so much and had a blast playing with Alyssa. He was so well mannered and attentive to her actions. Her goal is to continue selling her treats and donating to these beautiful hard working dogs.

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We want to thank the Eden Prairie Police for giving her the chance to meet these dogs on a good solid level. Our goal is to teach Alyssa that not only are the police there to help and make the community a better place but that they are her friends as she has wanted for some time.

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Also thank you to Valley West Sewing Center for helping Alyssa achieve her goals and sell those treats. She couldn’t have done it without you. Your family is amazing and very caring. God has blessed us and you with amazing kids who have Autism and teaching these wonderful kids how to set goals and make things happen is just one of the many blessings we share!

Good deeds never go unnoticed!

A few weeks ago Alyssa made some gifts for our local police. She did it just because, just because she wanted to and just because she wanted new friends. When she did that she didn’t realized (nor did we) that it would touch so many hearts and make  these very important people and new friends so incredibly happy. She didn’t do it to gain anything more then friends and to do something for someone else. (Read about it here)

This morning while completing our daily routine, and waiting patiently for the Special Ed but to arrive and pick Alyssa up, we got a visit. We got a visit from those amazing men and woman who protect us and take care of out city, and who are now her NEW FRIENDS.

Alyssa's new friends.

While the visit was really all she ever needs to feel good and to have a fantastic day, it just wasn’t enough for the officers. They contacted me last week and explained to me that Alyssa really touched their hearts and their families hearts. That they in return wanted to do something special for Alyssa. They wanted her to feel as special as they felt when they all got their gifts from her.

Today they brought her, their gifts. These officers and many more from our community pitched in and got Alyssa a great big basket full of fun.  Gifts to bring out more of her creative side, Tons of Arts and Crafts, and a few other fun things .

Alyssa gifts

These men and woman have touched Alyssa just as much as Alyssa has touched them. As I see it, Good deeds never go unnoticed, God sees everything you do and all the good that comes with the wonderful meaningful things in life, When you do good things, you will feel it come back to you in one way or another. With Alyssa she has gained so much, She is building confidence, friendships, thoughtfulness, love, and much much more.

For many children with Autism, communication is difficult with Police officers, Things weren’t so easy with Alyssa and he perception of stranger in general, add a uniform to that and it was even more difficult, I think showing her how good Police officers, Firemen and Military personnel are has helped set a good path for Alyssa in this situation,  Talk to your kids, talk about good examples and good things that police in your community do, Show your children. Take them to meet Police officers so that your child with Autism is aware of the need for them in their life, So that if they ever need help they know they don’t need to be afraid or that they can get help from these amazing people.

You can get a card for verbal and nonverbal Autistic children and adults HERE! Alyssa has one that she carries when we are out because she can get lost in an instant and before making all her new friends she wouldn’t have stopped to speak to officers to get help. The card is great and will let the other person know “I have Autism” It gives great information about your loved one and even a mood sensor to let the officer know if you are upset, scares, happy. Its FREE and worth it.

Veterans Day

Today is Veterans day, Today we remember the men and woman who have pledged to fight for our country and protect. Today Alyssa and the rest of the family will visit a very important man.

© Copyright Gifted Behaviors. 2015 © Copyright Gifted Behaviors. 2015

This year our family’s grandfather passed away. He passed on St. Patrick’s day and was laid to rest on April 1st 2015 in a national cemetery. George was a huge part of Alyssa’s life, he was there since day one, He lived with us and helped care for Alyssa. He didn’t have to he wanted to. They were two peas in a pod, He meant the world to her and still does to this day.

© Copyright Gifted Behaviors. 2015                                      © Copyright Gifted Behaviors. 2015

Alyssa thinks about George every day of her life, she prays at the table for him to have a great day in heaven, She has taken over his old room and while she does have her stuff on the walls, her bedroom set and all her dolls, what she doesn’t let anyone touch or move is his wall of pictures, the paint color and his walking stick. All of those things must stay where they are until she is ready. They had a special bond that no one could crack and they still do to this day.

What some people do not know is that George has a remarkable effect on my oldest daughter as well. Olivia talked to George a lot, She also grew up the last 6 years of her life with this amazing man living in our home. I remember the day she enlisted in the Army National Guard. He cried and he thanked her and he was so incredibly proud. When she went to basic training for 3 months, he cried and talked about her all the time. When she went to AIT training for 4 months he wrote her and asked if she had called, How was she. and again cried because he was so proud. Olivia made an impact on him as he did to her.

I want to say thank you to these two amazing people. Thank you for being such loving people in our lives but also for taking that oath to protect and honor our country. I love you both!

© Copyright Gifted Behaviors. 2015

New look on life’s images?

I am one of the luckiest women on earth. Yesterday my husband bought me a new camera so I can take beautiful pictures of our kids, life, tragedy’s, emotions,  and well all the little things that make us up! Up until now I have been taking all of my pictures on my cell phone using a few apps here and there to work with my photos.

I am so excited. I now have a Canon Rebel T6i DSLR. Its very exciting and a lot to take in. I will have to do some research to understand how to use the camera and how to get the best images with it. But for now I am just happy to have it.

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Yes I have this great camera and I still used my phone, But really how could I have taken the picture of this beauty otherwise?

It has arrived

Remember when I posted about my husband adopting my daughter, Well we got the official birth certificate in the mail and the signed sealed piece of paper says clear as day

FATHER: Christopher…

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Legally he is the one and only father to the beautiful girl, He has treated her as his own since day one and he has never turned her away. He calls her, sends her fun exciting things to her dorm and he makes sure she knows he is there no matter what. That is what a true father is..

YAY for our HODO family!

Beautiful Jewelry, beautiful friend

Last night when I arrived home from work, I was pleasantly surprised to find a package in the mail. It was from a friend of mine that I have recently become somewhat close to and someone I hope to call my friend for many years to come.

In this package were two amazing pieces of jewelry. I was expecting one for sure but the second one was a pleasant surprise. When I originally set eyes the jewelry she was making I of course loved the San Francisco 49ers bracelet and I wanted to place an order but she and her husband wouldn’t let me pay for it. Now, you have to understand she doesn’t work for free by any means but her husband happens to be childhood friends with my husband and this being the case I wasn’t allowed to pay for her work.

That being said, while I was expecting the 49ers bracelet I was not expecting the charm bracelet. What she did to make the charm bracelet took a lot of thought and care. She got it perfect! It has three kids on it, three birthstones on it, an autism puzzle piece, a football, an awareness ribbon, a heart of love and half of a best friend heart. (Secretly hoping she has the other end)
This bracelet is amazing and the work she does to make these bracelets is equally amazing.

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You can see more of her work at Marcia’s Handcrafted Bead Designs. You just might find the perfect gift that can be personalized just for you!