27 September 2012

Silent Partner...

One thing we learned last year after Brigid missed essentially the first 3 1/2 months of school was just what a special place she had landed in for her education.

Like last year, Brigid will not even cross the threshold of her school until after Thanksgiving, but unlike last year, now we KNOW that our suspicions about what she is really capable of are true.

Now, if you are a regular reader of this blog, then you know how I feel about her school, and the phenomenal people who have been called to work with our special children.  Brigid accomplished more under the wing of M and A in that classroom and J and R from a therapy standpoint than the "professionals" who write reports and read crystal balls ever thought she would, and she did it even after missing nearly half of the school year because she was hospitalized...

I have heard that we "rush" Brigid back to school, that we "push" her when she should be resting, that we need to "take it easy on her".  That, my friends, is unmitigated poppycock.  Anyone who has ever seen Brigid in person, who has had the chance to spend a bit of time with her, especially in the hospital, knows that this child is the antithesis of "rest and recover".  First, she is "sick"... and when she is "not sick" any more (the therapy has started working and she has the energy to sit up) then she is a going concern.  It is this activity and curiousity that we nurture, by having her in a supportive but challenging school setting, by getting her active and involved as early as possible in the hospital, by letting her activity level guide us - within reason, of course.

What makes us especially lucky, is that Brigid's school recognizes this too... I was contacted by the principal when she learned how long B was going to be here asking what the school could do to support her from a distance.  I shared my concerns about how well B had done once she finally was able to attend regularly last year, about how much she was missing, both in content and structure, and how I wished she was not stuck here.  Within an hour, Dr. S called me back with a solution!

The team (and there were a lot of people who took the time to contribute to this, many I will never have the chance to thank personally - so... we owe you one!) decided how B was going to be supported from a distance... A laptop computer was set up for Brigid, with work appropriate to her educational level and within the curriculum... additional activities were added, games like Bailey's Book House, Sammy's Science House and Millie's Math House were put on it too, because A remembered what B loved from last year - this was set up to encourage Brigid to want to use it - and it WORKED!!

Not only did they put all this together, but A, EA extraordinaire, even took her own personal time (and gas money) to bring the computer and assorted bits and bobs, AND some special artwork from Brigid's class, all the way to London for Brigid.

While the English language has a whole bunch of cool words, it seems to lack words with sufficient power to convey our thanks.  We owe you so much - you found the bright little girl that we always knew existed... and you brought her out to share with the world.

Even if you DID make it easier for me to be a mean mommy and make her do homework on a Sunday...


Oh, and just on the off chance that anyone was curious... we have a date/time for Brigid's next set of procedures.  B will be having the new tunneled central venous catheter placed and her lumbar puncture etc. done on Wednesday, Oct 3rd at 2:30... provided it all goes well, her last dose of Amphoterrible will be the following day, and then we will be homeward bound. 

Just don't tell B - she has a wonderfully awful way to throw curve balls...

1 comment:

  1. You may be interested in www.drawinghope.ca for Brigid. A wonderful project for all kids with special needs.