It was a normal day for me…nothing out of the ordinary going on when the phone rang. It was my dear friend Jennifer Cannan and she was crying. Through her sobs I heard, “Can John and I come over? We’ve been at the doctor’s office today and we need to talk to someone.”
Within 15 minutes John and Jennifer were walking through the door. Both looked like they had been hit by a mac truck! Before she spoke, I grabbed her and held her while she sobbed on my shoulder. After a minute she was able to speak, “The doctor says Alisha is autistic.”
Because Alisha’s speech was delayed, we knew something was wrong…but Autism???? How do you wrap your head around that diagnosis???
Jennifer, being the take charge kind of person she is, immediately began to read everything she could get her hands on about Autism. She reached out to anyone with knowledge of Autism or anyone who knew of available resources for Autistic children. It wasn’t long after Alisha was diagnosed, she was enrolled in school and immediately the work began.
Within a very short period of time Alisha began to interact verbally with others. In fact her vocabulary grew to the point she was utilizing “big” words typically used only by adults. She began to laugh and interact with others on an emotional level as well.
Alisha was at my home for Halloween this year. She did not come for candy…She came to visit me and to give my candy away because in addition to Autism, Alisha has been diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes. So, since she couldn’t have the candy she was elated to stand in my doorway and pass out candy to the trick or treaters who could. Then when my brother reached for a piece of candy, she provided him with a lecture on the perils of eating candy causing him to sneak his bites of candy when she was not looking.
Alisha is an adorable little girl who loves deeply everyone she encounters. She finds great pleasures in the most simple things. She is funny and witty making those around her laugh even when they aren’t in the mood to laugh. She says the cutest things and her mother is good to share them with us on Facebook. A couple posts by Jennifer I especially love…
- “Mama, Can you come rub my back? I think there is a bone in it and it is really starting to hurt me.” How does she come up with these things?!?!?! Going to put on my masseuse hat….brb…a mother’s job is never done! LOL
- “Alisha just informed me that she was “filthy, stinkin’ rich.” She then proceeded to show me that her change purse was full of coins plus she had 6 dollar bills. LOL”
- “Alisha just told me that I needed to get bigger, uglier glasses since I am getting older. Nice! ROFL”
Today I was reminded of Alisha and her struggles and challenges in life when I read a post on Facebook by Alisha’s mom, Jennifer Cannan. It read…
“Kids with special needs aren’t sick or gross or stupid, and their handicaps not contagious. They only want what we all want: to be accepted and loved. Can I make a request: is anyone willing to post this and leave it as your status for at least an hour to spread the awareness? It is Special Education Week, and this is …in honor of ALL the children who were wonderfully and marvelously made.”
Do you know a child that is wonderfully and marvelously made? If so please honor them today!
I would like to take this opportunity honor my precious little friend Alisha Cannan…Alisha, your Aunt Lee Lee loves you Doll ♥