What we see, what she learned

This week Rhema attended a science class at her beloved friend S’s school.

She stayed in her coat with the hood pulled up and her headphones on. She colored vigorously on paper, and she never looked up while Miss O, the teacher, or other students were speaking. A few times she got up to throw balled up paper in the trash or walk to the front of the class to get to Miss O’s desks and find new markers.

To many it would appear that she was completely out of place and “in her own world” because the environment was too much for her. Or that she was incapable of paying attention. Or that the science lesson was beyond her ability to understand. After all she’d never been in a mainstream science class like this before, never had a chance to go over the pre-requisites.

But by now we know how the story goes, right? We know that this journey has always been about trusting that there’s more than what the eyes can see.

The fact that she controlled her body to stay for the entire 55-minute class is huge. Beyond huge. With every fiber of her being she wanted to be there, learning new things with her friends. It is strength and willpower on a whole ‘nother level.

At home I asked her what she learned in science class, and she typed her response…

“i learned that photosynthesis helps plants make energy and the sun helps make glucose”

And then she gives us the chemical formula for glucose.

Below, not a perfect video by any stretch. Seizure meds in the background, for example. And Hope recorded it while trying to suppress an attack of hiccups. So it is pretty wobbly at first, but the video quality does improve. It took nearly 10 minutes to type 14 words. Still she types, and I see a girl demolishing every obstacle in her way – the sensory overload, the motor planning challenges, the racing mind, the Doubters. She triumphs over it all and demands more.

And she does it with one finger. One letter a time.

7 thoughts on “What we see, what she learned

  1. Hello Rhema and J., you learned a lot in science class. I am glad your body and you were able to stay the whole class. Have you heard of Steven Hawking? He is a brilliant scientist. His body doesn’t work the way mine does, or yours does, but his brain works! I love to hear your voice!

  2. All I keep thinking is how challenging and/or frustrating it must be for you to find the right learning institution for her. That’s not a knock on the amazing school she currently attends. But I imagine it’s a tough balance – Managing her physical needs and her high mental capacity and strong desire for higher learning. Sending you love – ALWAYS!

  3. Oops ! Sent by accident because this is the first time I’ve ever commented on a blog:).

    Where to begin? Well, I am a believer – belong to a Christian Missionary Alliance church.
    I’ve been reading your blog since it began. It may surprise you to know that I have prayed for Rhema long before her letter board days.

    Rhema- Hi, I am Mrs. L, or you can may call me Cassandra. I am your fan. Not because of how well you write , though it is amazing, but because you show me Jesus. Because you do not hesitate to share your faith, I’ve followed your example and have become more bold. I have hope to share and I should let people know, right?! Through your example I have learned this.

    My close friend has a son your age who I have always felt is very bright and capable though he does not communicate in any way. His body seems to do the opposite of what he wants to do though I don’t know that for sure. When it feels right, I will go through your blog with her.

    I would love, love, love to hear more about what you wish people like myself knew, before you mastered the letter board communication. What do you want us to know now? What are a few suggestions you might have for a parent with a child in a similar situation?

    Be blessed today

  4. WOW! Just wow! Does she also do reading with you and just simply absorb the spelling as quickly as she’s absorbing the lectures/presentations? That’s just such a special gift.

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