a blog about raising a daughter with cerebral palsy and learning unexpected lessons along the way

Saturday, October 9, 2010

"She's Smart"

When Oia's first neurologist diagnosed her has a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy, he in the very same breath advised us to "familiarize ourselves with mental retardation" because he strongly felt this was what we'd be up against. Our girl... mentally retarded, a hole in her brain.

Numb. Words that stung. Still the worst day of my life.

To this day, the words of that less-than-desirable doctor make me tear up every single time I revisit that moment. So why relive the moment?

Because I'm a remember-where-you've-been kind of girl. Because I appreciate the path that lies behind me since after all, that path has brought us to today. And today is good.

Because when your child's preschool teacher informs you that she'd like to move your child into a class of 4 year olds; saying things about your child like "she's smart" and "she's ready for pre-academics" makes it really hard not to remember the once spoken words of that painful moment, but suddenly, they're not so painful anymore for someone else sees the potential we knew she had all along.

We know a girl today who is bright and inquisitive. We know a girl who is identifying colors, learning letters and numbers. She is participating in literacy centers, math centers, and calendar time. She is enjoying recess and PE with her classmates; on her own two feet. She is socializing and her personality is blooming. She is aware. She understands completely. And we never, ever doubted it. Not for one second.


  1. I bet your heart is full to bursting, Mo. And you deserve to hear that praise - of course she is smart - your nurturing is sure to bring out all her potential. I love hearing the same thing from my day care - that Hannah, is the one they think is the smartest in her group. Who cares if she has a goofy walk? Mo, I am so happy for you and Oia.

  2. AMEN, Mo! BTW I can't remember your email address. Can you mail me? faithann04@att.net.
    Oia is such a rockin' smart girl!

  3. Tears are flowing here...I so know what you mean...I think back to d-day and am so grateful to be here, enjoying today. Enjoying Ben as he is...smart, happy, and wonderful. Who cares if he can't walk? Not me (well, most of the time anyway).

    So happy for you and Oia...and so glad that others can see her potential too!

  4. Good for you for not doubting her capabilities! That makes ALL the difference! Oia has the whole package. Beauty, smarts, and an amazing family. How wonderful to hear someone say such positive things, when someone else once said the opposite! I can't say it enough! SHE AMAZES ME. :)

  5. That's so amazing. I know exactly how you feel...Katie's developments have all been such a gift. I cried when I read this. What a special girl you have.

  6. I'm not surprised by this at all. All I can say is go Oia go!

  7. Previously you posted about feeling encouraged after meeting a Home Depot employee who had several physical challenges but who was apparently happy, employed, and married. You said that seeing that man gave you hope and inspiration for your daughter's future. Oia is my new Home Depot paint-mixer-guy. How happy I would be if my little boy has as much progress, success, and joy as Oia seems to have. Finding your blog, learning of Oia, and seeing her developmental accomplishments fills me with hope for my son's future. Thank you for sharing. Go Oia!