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Piece #68 - Graduation

This month May of 2014, will set a milestone for Jaimee and I; our last two daughters will be graduating high school. There are so many levels on which I could address this topic because there are several side stories to their rise of finishing high school. If you have read some of my previous posts, Christen and Sarah are both autistic so graduating high school is a great accomplishment in itself, but there's much more than that. They are both going to be heading off to an university and Jaimee and I couldn't be more proud.

I think what you have to realize is that the four years my daughters have been in high school have not been easy sailing. They both have had their challenges. The biggest challenge for both of them was the adjustments they had to make when it came to high school. The school is larger, the times are earlier, and student population is higher and the expectations are greater. Christen had her hurdles to face due to the activities she was involved in like art, theater and literary clubs. The biggest challenged was faced by Sarah and we weren't sure if she was going to survive in a regular high school setting.

Sarah started out her freshman year in good form until we hit October. It had been 9 months removed from the untimely death of Sarah's grandmother and the arrangements that were made in high school were not quite like those of middle school. Gone were the small groups that Sarah had been a part of, gone was the one on one attention Sarah got from her teachers because in middle school there weren't a lot of teachers she had to go see. Gone were a smaller environment and the low population of children. This was a case of a child being slipped through the cracks. Sarah did have a case manager, but he couldn't go to every class that Sarah had to attend. Due to all of these factors, for Sarah, the first sign was manifesting her anxiety into a physical illness. Jaimee had also been dealing with full blown PTSD and agoraphobia. In so doing, Sarah felt more comfortable being home in her 'safe place' with her mother working on her school assignments. Her mother and I didn't blame her, but we had to do something to keep her involved until she could make the smooth transition back to her high school classes. With a lot of effort, we were able to get Sarah back into school and finish her freshman year. Sadly the sophomore year didn't show signs of improvement because this was due to a serious medical problem...Sarah had to have surgery to take out her gallbladder in January of 2012. With all the other little 'ticks' she had, it was another difficult year to get through with all the missed classes and time in school, but she was able to finish out the second year as well.

I'm very proud to say that for both girls, they really stepped up their game during their Junior and now Senior years. So on May 15, 2014 Christen and Sarah will be dawning their cap and gowns; and join their classmates as they received their much deserved diplomas. Not only are they graduating, but they are both heading off to a major University...with scholarships in hand! If you have been diagnosed with autism, I will be the first to tell you that you can make it in high school. (Heck! I even made it and I didn't even know I was autistic!) Let me encourage you to continue because I realize it can be a tough battle, but you have every right to be there as much as any other student. Don't be afraid to stand up and be heard because you deserve a great education!

Song of Inspiration [Check it out on iTunes or Android!]:

Song: "We Won't Be Shaken"

Artist: Building 429

Album: We Won't Be Shaken

Here's the lyrics to the selected song. Just remember that you will never be shaken if you first focus on God then the hurdle you must overcome!

HERE IS SARAH AND CHRISTEN'S SENIOR PICTURE! I love this picture because of the Ying/Yang effect.

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