Anya was a teacher to so many of us: family, friends, teachers! She was funny, sneaky, and very challenging. Anya was tube-fed until 2 1/2 yrs old, walked at 5 years (when she weighed 20 lbs!,) and even though her mom is a Speech Pathologist !, she never talked. Anya communicated with sign language (100 signs) and PECS (100 pictures or icons.) She was able to get her needs met through those forms and push-pull communication. When Anya died from aspiration pneumonia (which she got often,) her lungs finally gave out at age 32. She now visits us as a hummingbird (coincidently called the Anna Hummingbird) and makes her presence known in unusually but meaningful ways. I am honored to be her mother, Stefan is honored to be her brother and I have met and gotten to know other CdLS parents who are my friends and support system. Her teachers, caregivers, staff at school and programs were so important in creating a rich life for Anya– she went camping, to the beach, rode her 4 wheeler, went to local plays and musicals and loved her matchbox cars. “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” Dr Suess

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