When Angels Help

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by Mary Kay |

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Alert the media! Not only did our angel get dressed independently this morning but she also put the lid back on the Play-Doh!

For years, Jessie left a trail wherever she went, just like in the movies, except that her trails originated from the bedroom out.

She runs down the hall as if she were running with bulls.

Raising an angel isn’t for the faint of heart.

While the world focuses on all the things Jess can’t do, or should I say, doesn’t do, we prefer to focus on every victory.

For the last month, I have been preoccupied with my to-do list.

She has no trouble entertaining herself when house chores need to be done. (Photo by Mary Kay)

She has no trouble entertaining herself when house chores need to be done.

Garden beds needed to be prepared, weeds banished, and our patch of newly planted grass watered. Spring cleaning was in full force inside the house, too. When in this mode, I feel as though I’m Auntie Em in “The Wizard of Oz”: Either help me work or “please find a place where you won’t get into any trouble.”

While I’m running in two directions, I ask Jess to step it up and help with chores. It’s not the first time I’ve asked her to get herself dressed but it was the first time she chose a matching outfit and put her dirty clothes in the hamper, all without being specifically prompted.

Because she seeks sensory feedback, we always have a container of Play-Doh in the house. I happened upon some when cleaning out my office. Play-Doh sparks pleasant memories for Jessie so she was happy to take it into the other room and open it.

After she finished, I found the container on the table with the lid on. Typically, our Play-Doh gets thrown out because it hardens, which I find annoying. Many times I’ve said, “I will never buy it again if you aren’t going to put it away properly. Think of all of the ice cream we could buy with the money wasted.” (I try to put it in terms she can relate to.)

She never has to be asked to help with dinner or to clear the table. However, it’s rewarding to realize that not only has Jess been listening to me all these years but that her awareness level is rising, too.

As they say in the movie “Galaxy Quest”: Never give up. Never surrender.

Even though it is easier and less stressful to do everything for my Angel, ultimately, she is the one who needs to do the work. I have to say, it’s rewarding when she does.

To read more about our journey, visit my blog. We wouldn’t even have a story if Jessie hadn’t found her AAC voice. Also, check Angelman Syndrome News each month for future columns.


Note: Angelman Syndrome News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Angelman Syndrome News, or its parent company, Bionews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Angelman syndrome.


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