Claire Wiegand's Story: 1996 - 1997 [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

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Shortly after Claire turned seven, I remarried and Claire got a stepdaddy who adores her. Tom has adjusted to being a stepparent very well, and all three of Claire's parents attend her case conference and parent-teacher meetings now. Tom worked at home in the afternoons so he could get Claire off the school bus every day. Claire cooperated by watching videos and playing in her room until Mom and Jill came home. She started using a Big Mack switch that plays a message (recorded by her sister) when she presses it. It says "I want to watch a video," and she hits it the instant the credits start to roll in whatever video she's watching.

This year, Claire went to Smoky Row Elementary. Moving Claire to the Severe-To-Profound Mental Disabilities class there turned out to be a wise choice. Here, she was viewed as having potential, and she was able to participate in activities much better geared for her. Her classroom was therapy-based, so she was constantly presented with stimulating activities, including using switches to answer questions and make choices. She began to use both switches and a mouse with the computer, and she began throwing and catching objects (well, maybe tossing gently and reaching for objects, but it's progress!). She started to give hugs and makes "I love you" sounds when she does.

The justice of the peace took this photo of Tom, me, Claire, and Jill shortly after our private backyard wedding ceremony. (July 1996)
Claire watching videos with Jill. (August 1996)
Claire at 7 1/4, actually throwing a ball to a friend's dog. This is a skill she lost years ago and her therapists have worked very hard to help her regain it. (November 1996).
Here's a nice family shot of us taken by Tom's sister. (November 1996)
Claire's just chillin' with her video and her Instant Breakfast. (November 1996)
Claire loves hanging out in this loft at her daycare. (December 1996)
Here's our annual Christmas photo for 1996. (December 1996)
Claire at 7 1/2, with younger sister Jill. (January 1997)
Claire playing with Cause & Effect Carnival from Judy Lynn Software. (March 1997)
VIDEO: Claire with sunglasses on. She loves to shake her head and take them off, but is unable to put them back on. (April 1997)
VIDEO: Claire with her speech therapist, who is helping Claire to isolate her index finger to point to her choice of toys. (May 1997)

Next: 1997 - 1998

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