...confirmed for me once again that the decision to have her repeat Kindergarten was the best decision that could have been made for her.
She has started this year off being ahead of the game, passing all of the beginning of the year assessments with flying colors. Socially she appears to overcome all of the inhibitions she had. She no longer has trouble making decisions during free time. She is making good choices about who she interacts with in the class (steers clear of the "troublemakers"). She uses language appropriately in social situations and is interacting freely and with ease. She is confident, well spoken and completely comfortable in her routine. It was the parent teacher conference for a "typical" kindergarten student.
I left her conference feeling like I could literally burst with pride. It was like a dream or goal that has always been just slightly out of reach for her had finally come to be. It was years of hard work, many interventions, tons of doctors and specialists (her pediatrician, developmental pediatrician, Early Intervention staff, neurologist, speech therapists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists) and more tests than I could even begin to name, showing, in a big way, that it was all worth it. Every appointment, every phone call, every trip to the Early Intervention office, every drive to Boston, every IEP written, every joy, every doubt, every tear (and yes there were some on her part and mine), every milestone she hit along the way was all leading up to this moment in time...a moment in time that even during the most difficult periods, I always knew would come.
I left the conference feeling very reflective. Julia's journey has been remarkable. Nothing (from walking, to talking, to interacting, to yes, even eating) has come easy for her. So today, I found myself reading Julia's story...from the first moment I felt something was a little "different" about her (about nine months old) until this entry here. I read about the first time she walked at twenty months old and what a truly exciting and emotional time that was. I read about how she used to hate the Nuk brush and about how I had to give her salsa before breakfast to "wake her mouth up" so that she would try and eat different textures. I read about her abnormal EEG. I read about the time that I was excited about her jumping on the couch and how funny it was to be excited about that. I read it all. Then I copied and pasted in to a word document, which is 45 pages long, Julia's story. I will share it with her someday when she is old enough to understand and appreciate it. And I will read it again from time to time whenever I need or want to remember what a true inspiration she is.