Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Withrow Kids' School Pictures

Anastasia, 2nd Grade
Skyler, 3rd Grade


Now we have all of our kids' 2013-2014 school year pictures with the arrival of Orion's prints yesterday!

Skyler and Anastasia got great pictures the first time around and didn't need to go back for a retake.  Orion, however, had different plans!  He was sleeping on the first day and he would not wake up despite my efforts.

The day before retake, I made sure to trim down Orion's snowy white hair but I forgot to put his scleral shell back in his right eye.  I drove to TSD in the morning realizing that and it's still sitting in a baggie at home. Luckily, Thomas found it for me and met me at school.  I did my magic, putting it in at the library where the retake photo shoots were.  Orion was upset but onward we went.  It was my goal for this year's school photo that he sits independently.  I've enjoyed having to have me in the picture, holding him on my lap, during the previous years but this is the year he sits by himself.

We set him down on the stepped sitting block.  He was startled by this new thing he's been put upon, having to sit up by himself, and he might've been very uncertain about his surroundings. His intervener and I tried different things, including using books to create a breeze, to get him to smile.  He was not having any of it.  His head was tilted down and he was fussing professionally.  Thankfully the Lifetouch photographer was understanding and offered to try again if we brought him in later.

At the end of his school morning, Orion, his intervener and I went back to the library to try again.  What's different this time was that Orion was calmer and settled down; he had a nice morning with his intervener (highlight: he walked in the shallow pool water with her!); the shell has been in his eye for 3 hours; and he's sat on this stepped block before (Hello, "experience"!)  He fussed, we got right to work… his intervener created a book breeze, I started massaging his little piggies out of frame.

Soon his stern face was brightened by a smile and that when this precious photo was taken!  Hallelujah! We did it!!  I felt like we won a game show from behind.  If any of you watch Family Feud's Fast Cash, that's the feeling!  Yay, Orion!

Oh, right, and he was sitting by himself, too.  At 3 years of age, Orion Withrow sat alone for his school picture.

My thoughts take me to this: Thank you for doing this for us, Orion!  I'm sure there are situations (that I can't think of) where a photo may be important to a blind person but it's certainly special for family and friends.  I need to figure out how to make posing for pictures special for him, and the special results are for us.  I'm curious if anyone out there has ideas that turned out great for blind/deafblind kids.

I leave you with some throwback school photos...
2011-2012 school year in Maryland: Skyler (2nd grade) and Orion (PIP) at Kendall School (Washington, DC); Anastasia (Kindergarten) at Glenn Dale Elementary.


  1. Hi Heather! I did not know that you have your blogspot until now. I skimmed through and read some. Goosebumps all over on and off as I scroll down. Beautiful stories!!! I am definitely following your stories so I can pass it on to others. I would like to talk with you more about it since I am very involved with American Society for Deaf Children. Let me know when we can meet. Orion will blossom into a young adult with a future just because the love he is getting from you and family.

    1. Thank you, Avonne! Writing is an outlet for me, among other things and what a win-win if what I write benefits others. I'll inbox you about meeting up. :)


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