Yes, I know the old adage: And the truth shall set you free. However, when I recently received copies of several therapists' reports on my daughter, Avery, I felt, instead, that I had been slapped in the face.
Avery has just finished up her evaluations with the school district prior to her IEP meeting which took place last week. Due to her undiagnosed neurological disorder and seizures, Avery has significant delays in speech and needs occupational therapy, physical therapy and the help of a special education teacher. Although I know exactly what setbacks my daughter has, and I'm by no means unaware of how delayed she is, there is something about seeing those results in black and white on paper that I reacted strongly to.
My husband seems confused by this.
"You wanted her to get the extra services with the school district (Avery can now start school in the Early Childhood program when she turns 3 next month) so what are you so upset about?" he asked me the other night.
I wasn't really sure how to respond to that. Of course, I've been pushing for Avery to get services- to get all the help she needs - yet, at the same time, I have often felt like I am in an uphill battle. If I had a quarter for all of the doctors, acquaintances, therapists, friends and even family members who told me she seemed "just fine," I'd be rich by now. I've been pushing and fighting and struggling to get her all the help I knew she needed for over a year now.
But, sitting on the couch last week, looking at those test results, something occurred to me. When you feel like you're one of the only people who sees how your child is struggling, eventually you start to wonder if maybe it's just you. Maybe, I'm overreacting. Maybe, I'm seeing things. Maybe...
But there it was - on paper - and I realized that all along I'd been unfortunately right. There's no maybe anymore- it's right there, slapping me in the face.
What I need to do now is try not to feel the sting and just press forward, using my sadness to further fuel my energy to make sure these delays don't go unnoticed, to make sure that she gets all of the help she deserves.