Special Needs Kids


Last week, I wrote about a deaf contestant on The Amazing Race and now I thought I’d tell you about a visually impaired contestant on American Idol! I watched him make it into the top 36 last week and my eyes filled with tears when his mother started crying when they found out he was in!

Scott MacIntyre is legally blind but he’s also a talented musician and singer. He has two degrees of tunnel vision which according to what I read means that he basically sees through a straw. But he hasn’t let this stop him from pursuing his dreams! He began playing the piano by ear at age 3. He’s had an impressive career thus far and has now made it into the top 36!

As a big American Idol fan, I’ll probably be watching regardless. I think Scott will probably end up being one of Noah’s favorites though because he plays the piano and seems most comfortable behind the piano. Noah’s favorite contestants are always those who play an instrument (like Brooke White from last season.) We’ll be cheering on Scott as well as our other favorites in the Top 36 as they emerge.

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america-flairI think I just might be the proudest Mom in America today. Yesterday we had parent/teacher conferences and workshops at Noah’s school.

For those of you who know Noah, you know that behavior can sometimes be a struggle for Noah. He has at times been physically (hitting, biting, scratching himself and others) and verbally (yelling and screaming loudly) aggressive. This isn’t something new – it’s something that has been going on for years. The frequency has slowed down a lot over the years though.

His teacher was very happy to report that he has not had any verbal or physical aggression since NOVEMBER!!!

It’s hard to put into words how proud I am of that little guy!! Noah is the type of child who responds very well to praise so J and I told him (and later Nana and Grandad did too!) how proud of him we were over and over. I told him I was the “proudest Mom in America.” He thought this was funny and wanted me to say it over and over.

I think I really am the Proudest Mom in America. ūüôā

Photo Credit

The Amazing Race has it’s first ever deaf contestant in the upcoming season! I’ve watched The Amazing Race in the past, although it’s been a few seasons since I was into it, but I’m definitely going to be checking it out this season to see how things go for this contestant.

Twenty two year old Luke Adams¬†is from Colorado and is a recent¬†college graduate and a huge Amazing Race fan.¬†Luke is deaf and communicates with ASL (American Sign Language.)¬†He’ll¬†be teaming up with his Mom, Margie,¬†to race around the world in hopes of coming in first place.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out for Luke and his Mom. Will Luke’s being deaf slow them down as a team since his Mom will likely have to sign everything to him or will him being deaf be an advantage to them – they can sign and other teams wouldn’t know what they are saying unless they are fluent in ASL as well.

The new season starts on Feb 15 on CBS. I’ll be watching, will you?

On CNN news earlier, I heard a precious story about an 18 year old senior high school student named Kristin Pass who was recently named homecoming queen at her high school in Texas. You are probably wondering why I am writing about this….

Kristin isn’t your typical blonde haired, blue eyed cheerleader type of homecoming queen. She is beautiful inside and out and special – she has Downs Syndrome.

The three hundred plus students in her senior class overlooked the sterotypical nominees and voted Kristin to be their Queen! What a touching story and a true testament of the beauty of a special needs child – they really can bring out the best in a person and teach you real life lessons.

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Their have been lots of Season finales this week; Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, Ugly Betty, and Grey’s just to name a few.

There was one more Grandad and Noah hittingfinale for us and that was the end of the 2008 Spring season of Miracle League. I am sad about it this year. I have enjoyed it more this season than any other season before. Perhaps because I was Team Mom, perhaps because the kids seemed to get along well with one another. Perhaps I was just in a baseball mood all season. Who knows? 

The end of the season party was last night. It’s usually pretty chaotic. They have pizza for the kids and parents, then the kids get trophies, and then¬†each team plays one inning. Since¬†they were only playing one inning, the kids were asked to bring their own buddy (family member or friend) as opposed to the usual buddies which are high school students, college students, church youth groups, etc.¬†When I asked Noah who he wanted his buddy to be, he chose Grandad.¬†

So, Grandad was happy to oblige and I Noah and Grandad Runningthink Noah probably had the most fun that he has had a game all season. He really seemed to enjoy himself and he had huge smiles on his face when Grandad was helping him hit the ball and wheel around the bases.

Time flies, so before we know it, it will be the fall season!

Edited to add: Noah was sitting in my lap looking at these pictures and he thinks the speech bubbles are hilarious!

The Special Olympics were today and Noah competed in the 25 meter wheelchair race. He did so good and received a first place ribbon!

He competed in the same event last year but didn’t do as well. He didn’t even want to finish last year and had to be pushed by someone else. But this year, he did all the work himself. He had his own little cheering squad of me, both grandparents, Holly, and Michael.

He was so cute. He didn’t know we were there yet. We had been watching the opening ceremonies and as soon as they were over, we started slowly making our way down to where the wheelchair races were. I was unsure of what time his event was when Holly said, “Um, Coley, Noah’s lined up!”

So we all quickly made it down to the area where the wheelchair races were. He was with his teacher in place, waiting at the starting line. I popped up there for a second and said hi to him, wished him luck, and then told him I would be waiting at the end. At that point, I don’t think he realized that my parents or anyone else was there¬†with me.

The race started and he was going steady but surely. He looked very determined. His cheering squad was all at the end snapping photos and yelling, “Go Noah, you can do it! Come on, buddy! GO NOAH!” About half way down the lane, I think he realized everyone was there. He started getting very excited. When he was almost at the end, the volunteer at the end of the lane (they have volunteers assigned to each lane to cheer the kids on as they don’t always have their own cheering squad like Noahie did!) motioned for me to stand there. Noah finished and I was right there – he put his arms out and gave me a big hug and kisses. He was SO EXCITED! His “fans” (our family) started giving him hugs and telling him what a great job he did.

We all sat with him while he had his lunch waiting for his next event. Dad had to leave to go back to work and Holly and Michael had to leave to start moving into their new place. J made it but was late because he couldn’t get off work early¬†– he did get to see Noah’s next event though. His 2nd event was the softball throw. He doesn’t really like this event and didn’t have near as much fun with it as he did the wheelchair race!

I couldn’t be more proud of my Special Olympian!!

More Pictures:

Waiting at the start line with his teacher, Ms. Lynn
At the Start Line

He looks so determined in this one…..

Concentrating hard…..

At the finish line! Lookat that smile….

¬†And this is what tired athletes do……

And a fancy little graphic I made with the Special Olympic oath….

noahandmamaontaxijamweb11.jpgI recently wrote a review of the southern amusement parks that we have visited and rated them on how wheelchair friendly they are. It’s published on Associated Content so check it out!

I’m so used to writing about adoption that it was super nice to change pace and write about something different lately. I really feel that God has given me a talent in writing and while writing about adoption is near and dear to my heart, lately I feel like I should be writing about and for things pertaining to the special needs community.

Photo is me and Noah on Taxi Jam, his favorite ride at Carowinds

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