Lucy's older cousin, Emmie is in the troop, and her best friend Hannah, and that was a big help in Lucy being instantly welcomed and accepted. And I can tell when we are there at the meetings, of which of course I need to attend with her, she feels at ease. One of my favorite examples of knowing she feels comfortable was when the girls were talking about movies and they asked Lu what her favorite movie is. Lucy went to her "About Me" section in her PODD on her Tobii and found the button that says, "my favorite movie is Mulan". Plus, she participates in the crafts and activities by using her Tobii and any adaptive equipment I have brought along that day with no anxiety.
We are lucky to have joined a troop led by two women who not only welcome Lu, but think about her needs when choosing snacks, crafts, and other activities. And we are so thankful to have been lucky enough to join a group of such kind, and patient girls. They ask questions, but not constantly, and always politely. And they don't make a big deal about all of the things Lu does differently. They don't stare at her when I am feeding her or wiping the saliva from her chin. When I pulled out Lu's adaptive scissors one day when there was cutting to do, the girl across from Lu said, "I am very interested to see how Lucy is going to use those scissors." It was just right. And that's why Lu is comfortable, because she is certainly aware of all of the things she does differently and this group of girls just accept those things and have welcomed her into their group. They treat her like a real friend.
For the meeting before Thanksgiving, the girls had a talent show and Emmie and two of her friends asked Lu if she would like to play her bongo drums while they played some of their band music. Lu's OT bought these silicone grips after I showed them to her and Lu has been using them for a variety of activities, including holding her drumstick during the talent show:
They are called "EaZyhold" silicone grips and they are wonderful.
So Lucy was able to play with the girls by me just helping to support her elbow and keep her hand over her drum.
Then later the girls took Lu out to the floor to play tag with them...without me! Such a minute thing, but that has literally never happened in Lucy's life. I helped sort candy that the girls had sold while Lu played with her friends. Just to reiterate: she played without me... WITHOUT...ME. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my whole entire life. The girls took turns pushing her and tagging her, and letting her tag them, and all the while a giant smile was spread across her face.
They just include her as a matter of course.
This is just what I was hoping Girl Scouts would be: a valuable social group for Lucy. It is mostly quiet, low-key, slow moving, and low pressure. Just our kind of scene, and that's one of the things I am so very thankful for this year. Thank you Maria and Kristy for leading the troop and doing all that you do!