07 June 2011

In the past week or two, I've been able to talk to teachers and therapists to help me figure out what to work on with Julia for the summer. Her school therapist -- speech and ot -- are talking to her private therapists coordinating efforts, and all are checking with me to see if the goals they are putting in place make sense from my view. This is the picture of what treatment for a child with Julia's challenges should look like, and every child with challenges should have such support and be so loved.

Garden work this morning for me and cleaning the toy room/den this afternoon and evening. If I can get the cleaning and sorting done today and tomorrow, I can work on set up for the summer by Thursday. Summer begins on Friday with the end of school! The community pool is filled and our summer therapy schedule is in place.

I received an email from Julia reading teacher:

I am sending home today a list of books that you can find in the library for Julia to read this summer. Her current reading level is 18, which is around beginning to mid-second grade.

I teared up. If only David could have seen that. So much worry for this child. And she has worked so hard this year. She started the year at level 3 which is beginning Kindergarten. We have a lot of work on comprehension, especially with fiction, but how could we not when she has sprung ahead so far.

Yesterday, at OT, our therapist told us about her daughter going to Yale, and it struck me (could it be for the first time?) that I might be more than happy if Julia gets through high school. Maybe it was hearing about this girl and Yale, maybe it was seeing Matthew graduate from Sycamore -- Cheshire's grammar school -- and hearing about all the lovely accomplishments of those children, I felt the loss of possibilities. I do, at time, mourn the loss of the perfect child that I wanted my second daughter to be. It is not easy being the mother of a child with challenges. I do not look for pity or sympathy, I know that many have more of an uphill battle than I do, and that so many do not have the services and educational possibilities that Julia has, but sometimes I just wish she was a normally developing 10 year old. I don't think it is weakness or a sign of less than complete mother love to admit this. It just is what it is.


I don't know whether I've written this -- I might have. This is the first time that teachers and aides are telling me that Julia is a joy to have in class. It was a complement that I took for granted during Cheshire's schooling. Now, it is a surprise and a delight! She is an odd child, this Julia of mine, but she is becoming delightful and a good learner. Oh god, am I thankful for that!

I was telling Lisa, who I saw on Saturday in Indy, that as I sort through the family paperwork, that my journals stop when my blogging began. She suggested that I start saving my entries and eventually print them out. Then yesterday, my Australian friend, Marianne, again mentioned that she saw the blog becoming a book for parents of kids on the spectrum. I don't abide with magical thinking, or view every event as a message from some higher power, but I admit that I have been feeling some inkling, a tickle, a leaning towards some writing project. I will start collecting blog entries and see where that goes after a few months. I just struck me that maybe I should read some of David's teaching notes -- he has lovely notes on how to write. I've wondered who I was saving them for. Maybe me.

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