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

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter, Kindergarten, Bracing, and a Note Worth Sharing

Easter weekend was short and indeed sweet. Esme's first Easter. Oia's first Easter reliantly roaming the yard in search of Easter eggs. No assistance. No falls. No fear. And fast. This weekend confirmed that a summer outdoors is going to be a whole new and fun experience, for all of us.

Without going into too much of the boring details, the decision has officially been made to allow Oia one more year of Special Ed PK (as opposed to allowing her to enter Kindergarten in the fall). I only had to roar a teeny-tiny bit and fortunately no one on Oia's IEP team objected to my stance. Thankfully so because it was a stance from which I was not backing down. Oia, who is a globally delayed child, still needs and deserves one more year in the PK environment to grow and development in an attempt to strengthen her foundation and lessen the gap between she and her peers. Gaps, per se, don't bother me as it is about finding Oia's personal best, but if one more year of preschool helps her rise to the standards that are expected of a 5 year old entering elementary school then I'm all for it. The physical, social, expressive, and academic gains that she has displayed within the last 8 months have simply amazed me. It's proof that the current PK setting is beneficial to her. I have zero doubts that one more year in PK is the very best decision.

Bracing. It's a constant evolution and experimental process for us. For roughly a year and a half, Oia's bracing has solely been for the right foot and leg(SMO and KiddieGAIT) while the left foot was orthotic-free. But in this amount of time, the left foot has significantly inverted so an SMO is now needed. It seems to be working. Now that the left foot is better aligned, we are comfortable with removing the right side KiddieGAIT and experimenting with just SMO's. The adjustment has been seamless and it seems as though Oia's walk is not reliant on the aid of the KiddieGAIT so we've shed it altogether. Present day, Oia is just wearing her SMO's, or "glass slippers" as we call them, and ambulating beautifully. Watching these bare, skinny legs as they carry our little Miss wherever her little heart desires is something I will never allow myself to take for granted.

Today I recieved an email from Oia's vision teacher that I felt was worth sharing. I don't want my words to muddy the ones in the email so I'll leave this short and sweet. All I will say though is that what's (almost) more remarkable than the message in the email is the fact that someone actually thought to take a few moments out of their day to make mine... to graciously highlight a bit of good found within my child. Today, this made me do a little more than just smile:

Hi Mo,

I saw Oia today for about an hour. I just wanted to tell you that since she was out the last two times that I came to see her, it had been awhile. What an impressive improvement overall! I know seeing her everyday it can be hard to see all the little changes, but what I saw today really impressed me! She said several words so clearly, her motor skills, attention, and lack of prompting were all noticeably different. I really think another year in PK will put her right where she needs to be for elementary school. You do such a great job with her! WOW!

Proud? You bet I am.


  1. You should be proud! Wow! Good for you to stand up for what you want and KNOW Oia needs. I'm so excited to see what one more year of PK will do! She is amazing.
    I love the first picture of the girls by the way. Precious.

  2. Proud...you should always be!! You are an awesome mom, to an incredible little Miss, and to the cutest little redhead around! Love you all!

  3. All my girls have had good news this week. God is so good, and he definitely knows where you ALL live! So proud of the wonderful mothering, the loving friendships, the developing minds and spirits, and the common bond of love. Also, I am very glad I get to be a part of all the celebrations and the victories. I stand in awe of each of you! MiMi

  4. WOW! I love this post. Your girls are beautiful, and Oia's progess is such an inspiration.