We are truly a uniquely blended family of six. I believe you could search the earth all the way around and not be able to find a family like ours — and hey, that’s a good thing! It makes us special. Who wants to be like everyone else, anyway…what’s the fun in that?

Now, allow me to introduce you to the family ‘pieces:’

First and foremost, there’s my wonderful husband Shawn. He really is an incredible man (and I’m not just saying that). When I slack in areas of family duty, even though I shouldn’t, he picks up the slack and doesn’t complain. He understands that depression really is crappy thing to deal with and can be truly debilitating at times. Anyway, he’s an Army man, is in the Reserves, and likes things clean and orderly (which is funny with four kids). We’ve known each other since we were teens as friends, but have been married a few short years. There’s more about that in another post…

The eldest of children is Jennifer, who is fourteen, and entered high school as a freshman this year. She was diagnosed with autism at age eleven, and could be best described as having ‘Asperger’s,’ even though that term isnt officially used anymore. We are very proud of her as she sits in allvregular classes and does very well in them. She has a 504 Plan with accommodations as additional support if she needs it. Her main struggle, as with most high functioning autistic children, is being socially adept. She loves to draw and color, enjoys video games, reading comic books and all characters, and now started a collection of her favorite character plushies.

Next is Miss Emma. Emma is eight years old and is the second grade in a self-contained classroom, especially for children on the spectrum, but does go to ELA and Math in a regular mainstream class setting. We are hoping to add one to two more mainstream classes to that by the end of the year and work our way out of the self-contained classroom for academics and only have it as a resource room. Emma also has ADHD and can be very, very energetic. Emma is an avid artist, enjoying drawing, coloring, basically using anything she can get her hands on to make art. Drawing people is her particular favorite thing to make. She also enjoys dolls, video games, and dinosaurs.

Vivian is six years old and in the first grade in the ACCESS Points program in Florida, which is for disabled children who not only need academic studies at school but need to concentrate on life skills and self care. She’s my precious girl, a little thing for age. She is on the severe end of the Autism spectrum, and is non-verbal. We are working on getting a successful mode of communication to work with Vivian. Vivian enjoys Little People, Care Bears, block puzzles, books, stuffed animals and cartoons.

And finally, there’s Shawn II, who is two years old. He is a rambunctious, active little dude who loves all his sisters very much and tries to play with them, whether they want him to or not. He enjoys talking excessively (even if we don’t know what he’s saying all the time), running up the stairs without permission, following his sisters around, and spending time with Momma. Shawn II loves to play with trains, trucks, dinosaurs, balls, and stuffed animal bears – sometimes at the same time.