Nora’s nominator writes “Nora Couch is an amazing 8-year girl. She was born with a condition called Congenital Hypothyroidism. Nora was nonverbal until almost 3 and was diagnosed with Autism. She has progressed amazingly due to the diligence and hard work of her parents and early intervention. We and all who meet her call Nora a bundle of pure love or sunshine. She worked hard last year as a year-long virtual student and I know she would love the opportunity to experience this photoshoot. Nora’s imagination has no boundaries and this experience would give her and her family so much joy and happiness.”
Nora’s Mom writes “So her hypothyroidism was diagnosed the day after she was born and she’s had bloodwork every 6 months, or more, ever since. And then with her autism, she only had a couple of words by age 2 and we got an evaluation with Babies Can’t Wait and started her in speech therapy and they got her enrolled at the Early Learning Center (she still goes to speech now). Then the Early Learning Center gave us the autism diagnosis too.
So since then, she did horse-riding therapy for a year, she took a couple of years of adaptive swimming lessons, and played a year of county rec soccer (before Covid). So she hasn’t quite picked a favorite sport yet. But she loovvvves learning about the human body and can tell you all sorts of facts about bones and stuff. And she loves learning about the weather (I’ve had to Google “tornado picking up a house” or “tsunami hitting land” several times so she could look at photos”). Her memory is ridiculously precise and she’ll recall events by saying “remember on January 7th in 2019 on that Tuesday when we went to the…” She also loves dancing and singing, and it takes her extra long to get to my car in the afternoon car rider line because she dances to the car instead of walking. She’s super creative, snd will build whole costumes or little worlds out of paper and tape. And she loves her Nintendo Switch so she can play Animal Crossing.
She says she wants to be a marine biologist and work at the Atlanta Aquarium, but she’ll “settle for being a doctor” if she has to.”
I absolutely fell in love with Nora right away. You can see her lovely personality here. She’s diagnosed with Autism, but she’s definitely not a typical case.I totally fell head over heels for her because she sure started this year off with JOY. I think the word joy just is her whole self. Everyone that I talked to who knows her talks about how she’s a true ray of sunshine. How she’s not really quite special needs, but she’s what everyone around her needs instead. ABSOLUTE LOVE AND JOY.She positively (I mean, she can’t do anything not positively, but still) bounced through these photos. She made herself a little leaf bouquet, she picked her own locations to pose, she hummed little songs, she talked about the people she loves, laughed at her own jokes… In short, she’s utterly magical.