The Harnisch Family

The Harnisch Family

Feb 18, 2012

Macy's first day at Munroe Meyer Institute

When Macy was born, we were given a list of "things to do" and a much bigger list of "things to think about".  Something that was very high on the "do" list was call UNMC's Munroe Meyer Institute and get her on the waiting list for their renowned "Speech and Language Disorder Clinic".  This intense program would be offered for free thanks to the funding provided by the Scottish Rite Masons.  They have taken this on as their Philanthropic Mission, and families like us are grateful to them for their generosity and giving hearts!  
check out the video below for a more detailed explanation of this awesome program...

We were told the waiting list was at least two years don't delay.  Well...last week...She got the call! Macy had been accepted and a spot has opened up for her and she could begin immediately.
I was, of course, EXCITED for Macy, but was
kind of bummed too, as I will need to give up my Thursday morning "Mom's" Group @ Lifegate (this group entailed breakfast, coffee, FREE CHILDCARE, meaningful conversations with other wonderful women & fills my "spiritual bucket" so to say).  I, as well as my girls, will miss going there on a regular basis :-(  This is just one of those sacrifices we as parents have to make to ensure the "betterment" of our little ones futures I guess. 
The inability to communicate clearly and effectively would most certainly serve as a significant barrier to leading an inclusive and fulfilling life - being socially active is a major life goal (among others) we have for her.   One we laid out in our "Long Term Vision" plan.  Isn't that really what anybody wants for their kids.  To be happy and have friends?
Below were some bullet pointed goals we established (last year) for our young Adult "not-so-Little.21.YEAR.OLD Miss Macy":
*  Be Happy
*  Socially Active - have a close-knit group of friends

*  Satisfying and gainfully employed

*  Involved in the community  (goes hand-in-hand with being "a contributing member of society")

*  Family focused
*  Independent/self sufficient with every day tasks
*  Transitioning into a Post-Secondary Education
*  Polite and Courteous
*  Be Respectful and have Integrity
*  Fiscally responsible & financially aware
*  Goal Oriented
*  Possess appropriate behavior and good overall hygiene
*  Have strong Christian core values and principles

While these goals were set specifically with Macy in mind, we certainly hope for McKenzie, as well as any other children we may have, to achieve these same PERSONAL LIFE goals.
The existence of this program, a program that helps kids with disabilities.  Let me say that again.  A program that helps MY MACY COMMUNICATE, is just one reason why I have such high hopes for our little girl.  She CAN have big dreams, she can reach for the stars, she WILL achieve her MANY goals.  She WILL be able to participate freely and fully as a contributing member of society in all aspects of common life.  This clinic is just another example of the countless opportunities and resources that are available to our extra-ordinary kiddos right here in our community. It is up to us to simply take advantage of every thing that comes our way.  Macy, you WILL do great things - THE SKY'S THE LIMIT!
Last time I was at MMI - for this "GRANDS" meeting with a Genetics Counselor to learn more about people with Down Syndrome (inside & out), and programs available to them.  Now we actually get to start participating in these programs!
I didn't have my camera with me on Macy's first day of school (as daddy took it to some really important CPA conference or something, grrr, hehe).  But I did have my trusty iPhone & luckily Casie, Vollen's momma, always has her camera in I borrowed hers.  :-) 
Macy gets out of the car. she's like "whoa, where the heck are we?!"
she decides she wants to play with the snow for a bit before going in.
She enjoyed running down and exploring the long, twisty hallways that led us to the elevator.  ta-da.  The kid LOVES elevator rides!  Her class is on the 3rd floor  :)
This isn't a great photo (blurry phone pic)...but I think it does a great job illustrating her excitement and the genuine anticipation she has for this class!  She was ALL smiles!
Macy signing "more" to one of the therapists.
That's her buddy Vollen sitting to her left!  She was so excited to learn that she was going to be in his SAME class...AGAIN...he also goes to "Little Learning Leaf" preschool with her! 
I was excited about this too, as I get to sit and chat with Casie in the "observation" room during all their classes.  We always have plenty to talk about and catch up on!
When we arrived, Macy marched right into that class room like it was no big thing.  She took her seat and was anxious to GET STARTED!  I think her teachers were a bit taken aback by this.  hehe.  Perhaps they are used to kids (especially on their first day) exhibiting a bit of fear of a new and strange place, with unfamiliar people, accompanied by typical "age appropriate" separation anxiety. 
But nope, not our Macy.  She's FEARLESS and ready for anything!  (a good and a bad thing at times)

Macy was so enthusiastic and happy the entire time.  My baby girl listened, clapped, danced and followed directions like a champ.  She was totally "into it".  I continue to be super impressed with her patience and attention span.  We'll see how long she keeps that up.  hehe
love those busy blurry hand motions
sitting still, with her hands together...following directions
patiently waiting her turn
she is apparently very proud of herself for something here.
When looking at these pics, it's important to keep in mind that they are taken through darkly-tinted glass from our one-way mirrored "observation room" - no flash, etc.  :)
They literally moved those desks around the room from station to station (probably so the kids don't get bored being stuck in the same room for so long.  Each corner provided a change of scenery of sorts.  An area for learning about the calendar & songs, another area for storytime, an area for crafts and Macy's favorite...SNACK!  Pretty sure the Snack station was and will continue to be her favorite  :-)
Sweet Vollen given Macy a goodbye hug.  geesh Mac, nothing like playing "hard to get".

We are already looking forward to what next week has in store!  :-

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