Dear Teacher

Dear Teacher (ESP/Therapist),

This is not about how much we know you care about our children. We know you struggle with them (some days) and you never give up on them. It’s about the process in reporting their progress that hurts.  It also doesn’t make sense.

How can a standard report card accurately state how my child (or any child with an intellectual disability) is doing in 4th grade? Continue reading

Be kind

As children get older, it becomes more difficult to be inclusive. Bridget’s age, it’s kind of forced inclusion. Every kid gets invited to the birthday party. Kids spend most of their day in one class, so a teacher is more apt to see what child needs the extra attention and what child just needs to visit the take a break chair. As her sister ages through the school system, I notice there are fewer children with special needs in her circle. Continue reading

Mermaid is Bridget’s Spirit Animal

I always miss summer. Other than hockey season, summer is my favorite time of the year. Yet this year, summer was so special for Bridget it makes autumn harder for me to accept. This year Bridget didn’t just rock summer she conquered more milestones that I could have imagined back in June. Continue reading

Back to school, bring on the IEP

How often do you look at your child’s IEP? I know I used to look at it right before an IEP meeting, then I would review it afterwards, sign and move on.   I learned my lessons over the years.

For those who are just entering the IEP there are a few facts to remember. Continue reading

It gets less scary because she has a village

Bridget starts 4th grade today.

It’s crazy to me, but this year I am not scared. I’m lucky because this year her classmates include her hero Jake, a friend since preschool, her best buddies S & A who have included her in their group since 2nd grade and other true friends that look out for her. She gets invited to playdates and birthday parties, not because they have to but because they want Bridget to be with them. Continue reading

It all comes together

Bridget is ten years old and has spent 9 years and 3 months of that time in therapy. First it was physical therapy. Then feeding. Over time occupational therapy was added and finally speech therapy.  We would take minor breaks over the years but they were more mini-vacations than actual breaks. She has always had at minimum one therapy a week.  Bridget works very hard to live her best life.

We live with the motto, they said she would never so let’s prove them wrong. Continue reading

When it’s more than participation

This summer Bridget was beyond lucky to participate in the Sail Cape Cod adaptive sailing program thru the Special Olympics and Kennedy Donovan Center.  Adult and teenage volunteers taught Bridget and her peers every aspect of sailing. They learned to tack, to raise the sail and to race.

Just like almost every child that lives on Cape Cod, Bridget got to experience the sea.

On her own.

img_3326 Continue reading

I wish….

I wish I could always protect Bridget from the mean people in this world.

I live in a bubble, to be honest.  I have a tremendous village.  Bridget has incredible people in her life that accept her for the person she is, with love. The acceptance she receives has allowed her to attend summer camps, be an active member of  the general education classroom, ride the big yellow bus like a normal kid.  I truly believe that our village has allowed Bridget to be an important part of our town, of our society and allow her a sense of being a normal kid.

Not a different one. Continue reading