Tell us a story, Rhema girl

Sisters playing, 2013, Photo by Kerrie James

Sisters playing, 2013, Photo by Kerrie James

Context: Rhema has only been spelling in sentences on stencils and using a keyboard for three months. Until now, she’s never had a way to really demonstrate her intelligence, humor and imagination. Over the past twelve years she has been described or assumed as having the expressive and receptive language of a 1-year old, lacking pretend skills, isolated in her own world; having poor sense of time and sequence, minimal ability to attend, and little understanding of emotions.

I am ashamed to say that, with the exception of occasional Bible passages, I gave up reading aloud to her around the age of 3 – the last book I read to her was The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss. Recently we began reading Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Recently we began reading Little Women. (Yeah, I had to type that twice). She’s enjoying it and has so much to say.

I asked her to tell Hope and me a story. It took her 3 days to spell it all. My mind was already blown when she began with a title and ‘Once upon a time’…


The Sisters

By Rhema

Once upon a time there stood to sisters

How they loved to have fun together

They loved to always plan lots of good games

Time stood still when they were having so much fun

One day they were playing when all of a sudden the girls saw a mountain lion

They screamed Ah

They noticed it had high cheekbones and high chin on his head

They laughed at it because it had high cheekbones high chin on its head

They got a tall basket to climb on and they pinned him down

Then they hopped down and caught a ride home

They made a big bed for the lion to sleep on

Then they took it back to him

They would not make him sleep in the room by himself

They had almost been on the bed for ten minutes when it jumped on the ground

They tried to help him make his home on the ground

He was so happy to be home

He thanked the sisters for helping him

The end.

8 thoughts on “Tell us a story, Rhema girl

  1. I have been a follower for a few years now and I am truly amazed at Rhema’s story and reading glimpses of it as it continues to unfold. I loved reading her Sisters story and picturing her determination of spending 3 days to focus on her story. I am impressed with how it has a title, clear beginning, middle and end with a conflict and resolution (can you tell I am a teacher?) As she continues to put her voice onto paper may you be blessed to know maybe your little girl is more like her momma than you ever would have been able to hope. Thank you for sharing your life with others. It has been a blessing as I was raised with a special needs brother and it has also been a blessing now that I have my own 3 little ones to remember to never underestimate Each child’s potential.

    May God continue to strengthen and bless your family.

  2. Absolutely wonderful and how happy she must be to finally have a way to show everyone just how intelligent she is! My concern for so many of the kids using RPM is the fact the schools continue to educate them as if they are at a 1-3 year old level. How frustrating that must be for the kids and how wrong! The schools need to be trained in, understand and utilize RPM in order to truly give all the kids FAPE! If not they are just wasting their precious time, denying them FAPE and it must feel so demeaning 6 hours per day.

  3. So beautiful, so powerful, to hear Rhema’s voice emerge, to experience it becoming unearthed. What a treasure, that she has these stories inside her, waiting to come out. I cannot wait to hear each and every one of them. Love this!: “Time stood still when they were having so much fun.”

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