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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Teale's Love of JB

It is hard to remember how it started, but I believe it was in school. She seemed to catch on like any typical preteen girl. Screaming at just the sight of him, watching Youtube videos constantly, singing along to "Baby, Baby..." We were thrilled to have her enjoying something very age appropriate and encouraged her in many ways. We helped her find videos, we gave her CD's of his music and we bought her different Justin Bieber items. She talked about him being her "boyfriend" and he became part of our everyday lives. I remember the first time I used Justin as encouragement for Teale. She needed to get on her PJ's, getting undressed and dressed is difficult for Teale because she only has use of one arm. There are parts of it she can do on her own, but like many parents, we have often fallen into the trap of helping her too much. I guess that night I was tired of doing everything and wanted to see if Teale could get her own PJ's on. Telling Teale "After you get ready for bed, I will put Justin on Youtube for you." she trotted off to her room. When she came out dressed in her PJ's not only was she glad she then would get to watch Youtube, but she was also very proud of her accomplishment!  I can hear her to this day "I'm going to tell Justin!" And so, that is how it began, JB became part of Teale's life and ours. His name would bring a smile, the sight of him a scream! Youtube videos would make her laugh and take her away to a fantasy world where she and Justin were friends. Teale would take her medicines easily, get dressed, brush her hair, brush her teeth, etc. because "Justin would be proud." I truly began to feel like he was part of our family, as he was talked about so often. Teale believes he is her boyfriend and will tell anyone so. One day in the grocery store, Teale stopped dead and whipped out her cell phone from her pocket. The cell did not have service, but being typical in some ways, Teale loved carrying it. She  looked at the cell in disgust and said "Oh, it's Justin Bieber AGAIN!" The woman near me heard Teale and couldn't contain her laughter either as Teale and I talked about Justin bugging her all the time. At her special school, Justin Bieber is part of her everyday schedule. If she does the activities asked of her, she gets a Bieber break! I can't begin to tell you how many times I have heard "One Less Lonely Girl or Baby." I can't begin to explain the countless hours Teale has lost herself with headphones on, as she swings in her favorite hammock listening to JB and singing along, when she thinks no one is listening. Teale has been alone much of her life, not literally, but she doesn't have any close friends her age. She hangs with us, her family and often watches as her big brother and little sister go off with friends. I'm sure Teale is lonely but Justin fills part of this gap for her, taking her away to a world where he is her friend. When the JB movie came out, Mark took Teale. I believe she saw it at least twice at the theater, loving the parts about when Justin was little the best. We have bought all the JB movies for home and there have been days that she will watch them incessantly, rewinding to her favorite parts. For her 13th Birthday a dear friend of our family bought Teale a full sized cut out of JB. Her excitement was contagious as we set up Justin in our home and he truly became part of our family. I have seen her move the JB cutout to be near her while she is watching him on Youtube. She has jokingly danced with JB and her cousins, laughing hysterically. Justin Bieber has brought Teale countless hours of joy and his music brings her peace. Teale may be severely developmentally delayed, but when it comes to Bieber Fever, she is much like any typical young teen girl!

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