The Journey Continues
It has been a little while since I have shared about our continuing journey with my Caroline.
Let me just start by saying...
... MUCH MORE!
We changed her school placement around Thanksgiving of '09 and that, my friends, has been more of a challenge for her mother than for her. She needed more special ed. support than the private school could offer (or her parents could pay for) so we decided that our local public school would be a better fit. Over all that has proven to be true. THANK YOU JESUS!
Both her regular ed and special ed teachers are Christians and they both agree that God has a plan for our girl. (It's a good thing because I was just going to have to keep informing them of that if they thought otherwise! In my most humble spirit and approach of course!) They both have been pretty good about helping Caroline adapt to the new environment, schedule, kids, etc., etc., etc. and they have given her time to adjust. THAT has been good.
I guess the hardest thing is that the standards are a little lower and so the workload is a little less and I am not seeing my girl as challenged as she was before. HOWEVER, God is showing me that the challenges were probably too much for her and that this setting is proving to be less frustrating. In turn, we are seeing less behavior issues so that is also a very good thing.
We continue to attend vision therapy twice a week and that is proving to help in many ways. The biggest issue is the cost. Our insurance package does not cover this type of therapy and so all of the visits are coming out of pocket.
Recently I went to a special needs seminar and the way that parents talk about the cost of medical NECESSITIES is really hard to hear. Parents already face the difficult realities of caring for a child with special needs. THEN the medical community seems to just sock it to ya when it comes to the care that these children require. On a very small scale we are experiencing some of that weight and I am sure that those with much more involved disabilities see it far more than we do.
Overall, things are good. Caroline still has a ways to go with learning math, but she's reading like a champ! Socially she can be a little awkward, but we have sweet friends who understand and they help us by explaining things to their children. This makes things easier for the "typical kids" to accept her and they do really well with her. She is involved in children's choir and GA's at our church and I am so proud of her as she is eager to go and participate each week.
Here's a little success story...
At our children's Christmas musical the kids were suppose to put black gloves on during one of the songs. The gloves had stars on them and as the kids sang the sweetest song about the wise men following the star the kids were to wave their stars in the black sky. I had a good view of my girl and as they got to the place where they were to pull on their gloves it occurred to me that an adult had always helped her in rehearsal. THIS was the show and the adults were in the wings. I knew that her fine motor development wasn't where she could put them on alone, and I started to feel my heart beat a little faster. I looked at my husband and he was shaking his head thinking the same thing.
They passed the gloves down the row to the kids and we saw her start to try to put them on. Tears filled my eyes as I thought, "She can't do it. Someone help her. She can't do it."
She struggled and struggled. The other kids were standing on their feet waving their gloves while she sat there struggling.
And then she did it!
She stood with all of the confidence in the world, and with gloves IN HER HANDS, she waved her stars like everyone else.
In typical Caroline style my girl rose above the little challenge in her own way. Head held high and singing her heart out my girl did what she could to participate and she was so proud of herself.
My husband and I? Well, we were just a total, proud, amazed and thankful MESS! That's what we were! Tears streaming down both of our cheeks we both stood and applauded our girl. God DOES have a plan for her. It may not be how we imagine it to be and she may not get there like every other kid, but we are blessed everyday by her determination and desire to be her best. And that's all we can ask!