Avery Grace

Avery Grace

Monday, January 10, 2011


There is no better sound in this world than the sweet, endearing giggle of a beloved child. It is music to the soul, and the melody brings smiles to the witnesses, and warmth to their hearts. Presley is just starting to really "belly laugh." It's wonderful. Kaylin is a barrel of laughs, always being over the top and dramatic about everything, usually laughing at her own stunts and describing herself as "oh so funny."

Avery on the other hand, has a different kind of laughter, and given that her perceptions are so drastically different than ours, we tend not to be "in on the joke"... but we are eternally grateful for the experience. Avery LOVES "Go Diego Go," and particularly loves the episodes that have some sort of flapping/flying bird... birds always get her laughing, she also LOVES to swing and climb, and does so with a giggle and a smile, which makes OT worth every penny as she learns to motor plan, and have better balance and coordination. She also get's a kick out of physical "rough and tumble" play. Her dad is the master of inspiring an Avery cackle.

Having a child with Autism tends to strip the fun out of some types of ordinary family activities. Going out is more challenging, and until you've been there you really have no idea how much so.... so most of our miraculous and precious moments are within the walls of our home.... where our "normal" exists, and where no one judges, stares, expects or requests us to be anything other than who we are.

Avery doesn't use words. She doesn't seem to understand most of what is going on around or even within her, and isn't yet very responsive to verbal language.... yet I assure you, she is communicating all of the time. If you take time to know her, you would see that she exudes happiness, and certainly has lots of preferences and favorites. I read a blog today that talked about how easy it can be to almost forget our kids who don't talk and don't seem to understand are even... there. We talk about them in front of them, and assume they are as clueless as they appear. But they aren't. Time and time again I hear about older kids with Autism being able to describe their experience... and we forget that just like all kids, our little ones with Autism, like all humans, want to connect. They just lack the skills to know how. It's our job to help them. To be their voice when they haven't found theirs yet, and to guide them through the confusing and complex world that overstimulates their disabled central nervous system. It's OUR job to interpret the laughter. To USE the happy, albeit very few moments when they connect to us, even for an instant, to build on and bring them closer. To meet them at their level, and let go of expectations and simply giggle with them.

So today I am grateful for one of the things my precious 4 year old with Autism CAN do. She can laugh. She can lift my sorrow and she can STILL light up a room. They may be a few of you who would look at her with questioning eyes as she chuckles and shrieks with merriment at seemingly nothing... but I invite you to be in on the joke. Life is grand. Isn't it amazing that my precious, disabled daughter can find so much joy and hilarity in the simple things.

Our 2010 Holiday Letter

2010 brought with it an abundance of Grace, Joy, and finally, Hope. The highlight of the last 12 months has certainly been the birth of our precious third daughter. Presley Hope Beeson arrived just in time for the dreadfully hot summer to come to a close, and we welcomed her with tenderness, love, excitement and tremendous joy. She was a few weeks early, so she spent a couple of days in the NICU, but once released she has been an absolutely precious and easy baby. She spends most of her time nursing, sleeping, and being shuffled via carseat from appointment to appointment. We are loving having a newborn around to remind us of the beauty of new life and the amazing power of unconditional love. We are so blessed.

Kaylin Joy, our precocious 2 and a half year old, is as spunky as ever. She brings so much laughter to our home, and gives us even more opportunities to practice patience! She is attending an Episcopal preschool here in Frisco, and is thriving there. There is never a quiet moment in our home when sweet “Kaylee” is around, and she is already demonstrating her sisterly love as she adores her baby sister, and helps us everyday with little things for Avery. Kaylin amazes us on a daily basis, and we can’t wait to continue to watch her grow and develop into a fiesty little lady. We are so grateful.

Our precious Avery Grace is 4, and continues to work so hard every moment of every day to learn how to live in our world. She now takes the bus to school five days a week, and spends every afternoon in therapy. Avery is quite the trooper though, and she is almost always in a good mood and goes with the flow. She recently qualified for some state programs here in Texas which we hope will slightly ease some of the financial burden that goes along with having a medically fragile and disabled child. Avery is still non-verbal and needs assistance with even the most simple of tasks, but she teaches us so much about compassion, true love, gratitude, and grace. Avery’s impact goes beyond our family too, as she was lucky enough to have an ARMY of supporters as we walked to raise awareness and money for Autism Speaks again this year. We raised almost 2000 dollars, thanks to dear friends and family, and we were lifted up by our loved ones as 40+ friends and family came out to support us in their “Avery’s ARMY” t-shirts. We felt so empowered, and so incredibly grateful. In a world that can at times be very sad and isolating, it was a day that brought with it a renewed sense of strength and endearment. We are so hopeful and encouraged.

As for me and Bryan, aside from juggling our three bundles of joy we are doing great. Bryan still works at Power Brokers and seems to enjoy his position there, and I still do some contract work here and there for special needs families/kiddos, and love to have the opportunity to share some of what I know as both a therapist and a mom. Bryan and I are as united as ever, and remain a team in every sense of the word when it comes to our family. We are committed and fulfilled.

Learning to let go of expectations, live for today and not project into the future has not been the easiest of tasks, but as we strive to do so, we find that the simple moments many take for granted can sometimes be the most miraculous. We wish you all a blessed and peaceful holiday season and 2011, and we hope you and yours find many moments of laughter and joy as you share precious time together.