Ella Shows Her Independence While Finding a Solution at Bible School

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by Michael Casten |

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Last week was Vacation Bible School (VBS) at our church, St. Timothy Lutheran Church. Lindsay is the director of the church’s VBS program and puts months of work into preparing for the week’s events. All three of our kids look forward to VBS, as they know how much fun they will have.

Ella was excited about attending VBS. The groups — called crews — are divided by age. The older crew members are fifth graders, and since Ella is going into fourth grade in the fall, she was one of the eldest in her crew. She was delighted as she likes younger kids, and she behaves like a “mother hen” toward them.

During VBS week, I was in charge of the “KidVid Cinema” station. I showed the crews a short movie about kids from around the world. The intention was to spark discussion and inspire activities relating to our faith.

A games station was set up, with activities taking place outdoors, weather permitting. Ella wanted to get involved, but the water games presented a challenge for her. However, she found a solution with no prompting from an adult. Each day, right before her crew rotated to the games station, she and a friend would ask me for a plastic bag to cover her wheelchair controls to keep them dry.

We faced an issue with taking Ella to the bathroom since I was a station leader, and Lindsay is still unable to lift Ella. All of the VBS crews have a snack at the same time, so station leaders get a short reprieve. So, I took this opportunity to go to the snack station and bring Ella to the bathroom.

Ella’s crew leader did an outstanding job of modifying activities for her and making sure to include her in everything. Ella showed her maturity and asked for what she needed from the adults in the building. All in all, VBS week was a success for everyone involved.

Soon, Ella will be attending an overnight MDA Summer Camp for the second year in a row. We are confident that she’ll do well there and show the same maturity she showed at VBS.


Note: SMA News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of SMA News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to spinal muscular atrophy.


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