henryHenry entered this world by emergency c-section and hasn’t stopped surprising us since! Henry was diagnosed with Down syndrome shortly after he was born. I was already in love with this beautiful boy and scared to death at the same time. Henry was the first person I’d ever met with Down syndrome and everything I “knew” about this diagnosis was stereotypical and outdated. When Henry was 1 week old, a wonderful friend connected me with a couple whose son had attended LLH and they encouraged me to go as soon as possible to put him on the waiting list. At 10 days old Henry was the youngest person (at that time) to be on the waiting list. That night, this couple brought their son to meet me and my husband. I’ll be forever grateful to them for showing us so early so many of the good things coming that I couldn’t yet imagine.

When Henry was 9 months old I received the call informing me there would be a spot open for him in January. We were nervous and excited all at once! Henry was 11 months old when he started LLH, he is 2.5 years old now and wow! He has progressed from a bottle to a straw cup, eating baby food to eating most meals with the rest of the family and feeding himself some foods with a fork or spoon (messily!!); he was barely sitting on his own when he started school, now he runs and jumps and climbs and dances!!

We have always used sign language with him at home, the school uses the same program we use, so he is signing with most everyone he knows. Henry knows well over 150 ASL signs and learns more all the time. My favorite thing is when he surprises me with a new one. The other day he told me he wanted to read the “bunny book”. It’s one of his favorites! He knew “bunny” and he knew “book” but this was the first time he put them together to ask for a specific book. I was thrilled at this progress! The Little Lighthouse has been an amazing blessing for our family. Not only does Henry have tuition-free access to wonderful teachers and therapists, but we have also connected with wonderful, loving families. Henry is smart and funny, sweet and loving, oh so loving. We see this every day at home, but TLLH has helped Henry blossom outside of our immediate family to show all his great qualities to the rest of the world!