Doodle and Kate

August 14th, 2015

This post was originally going to be an update about Verity’s fantastic progress with her neurodevelopmental program, Hope and a Future, and I had big plans to take more photos after a mostly camera-less summer.  But with Mindy having a job and not yet a driver’s license, the launching of our 2015-2016 academic year, Laura working part time over the summer and beginning college-level work, the addition plans kicking into high gear, a dear sock sister coming to visit for a few days to teach me how to knit, and a fast-approaching week dedicated to replacing our front porch, among other things as always…


This one had to be mostly photos and very few words if it was to happen at all!


“Where’s the airplane, Verity?”

“Up there!”



Singing the chorus of Days of Elijah, word-perfect and timing-perfect~



Big girl walking up the stairs by herself!



Katie’s first love is still any and all auditory input.  Look at that rapt expression!




To show you the little face I see on the other side of those number dot cards.  Doodle loves every part of her neurodevelopmental program and sometimes begs for her favorite activities.

“Number dots, number dots, time to do your number dots…”















It’s so good to see her reading books again rather than dangling them in front of her face.  Reading books for Verity means turning the pages correctly and talking about what she sees on the pages.



I wish I had the time to tell you in more detail how her language has taken off!  We are so thrilled to watch it happen, and all the more so when we remember that she was almost exclusively using echolalia (rather than communicating with us) before she began her neurodevelopmental program in February.



You should see Katie’s face when I reach up onto the shelf to pull down the bin of musical instruments!  If she doesn’t have an instrument to play with, she’ll shake any noisy toy near her ears, often right up against her cheekbone.



Happy sweet girl~



Ah-aah!  Love sister!

Katie will hug now if I tell her “Katie, hug!”



The two girls don’t often play together, as Katie has developed very few independent play skills, both girls need a lot of direction and redirection when playing, and we definitely see Verity copying Katie now rather than the other way around.  Ben and Verity are the terrible twosome at this point, I am sorry to report!  My, the mischief they can get into, quick as a wink!



So for shorter, more guided activities, it’s very sweet to see Doodle and Kate together!



“Thank you, Katie!” says Verity.



How about let’s whistle?  It’s my new go-to for redirecting Katie from one of her wide variety of less socially-acceptable noises, such as nose-blowing, growling, and her new fake laughing!

Katie whistles a low, brief whistle on each intake of her breath.  Verity has finally mastered a correct whistle.




Good whistling, girls!!  Perfect!!



A few months ago, Verity did not have the courage to climb up and balance on the unsteady edge of our ball pit.

Hmmmm, what’s Peter up to in there??  “Hi, Peter!”



This photo was taken a week and a half ago.  This week, she began jumping off an outer corner of the ball pit without holding on.

One, two, three, JUMP, Verity!



Share it!

13 Responses to “Doodle and Kate”

  1. KT says:

    Wow and double wow! I can see a visible change in Verity in these pictures. Her posture is great, her eyes focused and bright and she has a different facial expression in each picture! Please give me a link to the neurodevelopmental program you’ve been using. One of my daughters now has a confirmed diagnosis of “intellectual impairment/disability” and I know this would help her.

  2. Susanna says:

    KT, here it is, and I’ll put it in the post, too:

    It is called Hope and a Future, and it’s the only program I found that is Christian. I was adamant that those in charge understand that Jesus, not an ND program, is the most important priority of our lives. :) Linda has been wonderful to work with! SO encouraging about how much we are accomplishing, invariably focusing on the child’s and family’s strengths, and yes, not in favor of stressful heavy-duty programs that threaten to take over one’s life and end up failing due to burn-out. She listens to where we are in life and where we’re likely to be over the next four-month period of time and designs a program that is doable for us.

    We also appreciate HAAF’s approach to disability–helping each individual reach his or her personal potential, clearing away developmental tangles that get in the way of that happening. Before we began V’s ND program, I said just what you wrote, that I KNEW an ND program was going to help her.

    Oh, there is so much I want to say about this subject but have to wait for sufficient time to finish a separate post. :)

  3. Priscilla says:

    How absolutely wonderful to see them progressing! Amazing! God is so good…and He is good all the time!
    Terrific stair climbing, Katie! And Verity, as a librarian, I love to see you reading! Blueberries For Sal is one of my favorites!
    They look so sweet playing together in their ball pit. Susanna, you are truly blessed!

  4. Maureen says:

    Praise Jesus! :) The girls look beautiful! (Is Miss teenager too old to be “Katie” anymore??) So excited to see the growth! Miss you, dear friend!

  5. Susanna says:

    Maureen, she is Katie, Kate, Kate-Kate, Katie-Kate, Katerina, Kit-Kat, Sweet-Kate and the list goes on. She responds to them all, but to herself, she is the sound, “K.” Or she pats her chest with her hand. After prompting, not in reply to the question, “What’s your name?” But we’re working on it and she’ll get there, I have no doubt. :)

    Miss you too and wish there was some way you could make it to this month’s adoptive moms’ group.

  6. Louisa says:

    Love seeing such wonderful progress Susanna! It such a beautiful thing to be a part of…

  7. Jeannie says:

    Praise God, our Healer! He still takes my breath away. ,

  8. sarah says:

    We love your website! i have a “typically” developing 2 1/2 year old girl and a 5 year old boy and we’d lovvvvvvvvve a playdate!

  9. Mary says:

    What an amazing blessing it is to see the Lord’s hand in these two precious lives!! Thank you for giving us a glimpse! Love from NH! <3

  10. Dana says:

    Thanks for the update on your beautiful girls!

  11. Aunt Erma says:

    I hadn’t looked at your blog for a while, but in prayer this morning I was prompted to see what was happening in the Musser household. I am always blessed by your postings. I would love to see you again and to see your wonderful children. I will be coming to PA the beginning of October. Do you think that would work? Love to all of you.

  12. Susanna says:

    Hi Aunt Erma! It’s always good to hear from you! I’ll email you about your visit. :)

  13. Claudia says:

    Dear Susanna

    This is the first time I am leaving a comment even though I have been following your blog for some time now. We have 10 children and our last one, Abigail also has Verity’s little specialty! Abigail is 2.5 years now and even though at the time of her diagnosis and in the days and weeks thereafter I couldn’t have honestly said it, but now I can from the bottom of my heart: she is a treasure and a blessing beyond measure and I would not want our family to be without Abbie! We are also with Hope and a Future ( ever since Abigail was 4 months old ) and have not regretted a day. Program is labor intensive but the rewards are sooo great. Just like Verity, my girl is doing awesome. Anyways, thank you for your blog, I really find it encouraging and especially love the posts with all the pictures ( I too am living through a camera less summer:( ). keep looking to the Lord and may He bless you!

RSS feed for comments on this post. And trackBack URL.

Leave a Reply