Monday, October 29, 2012

Guess who "Graduated" from Speech?"

It's a bittersweet day at the Royal house.  Actually, turns out, I'm the only one who's bittersweet.

After 2 years of going to special speech classes twice a week, Caroline no longer qualifies for them.  I had her ARD (don't ask me what what stands for--I can never remember) meeting today and after evaluating her, she can now pronounce all of her letters--including those pesky "Ls" and "Rs."  She no longer needs speech class.

And I was happy.  But, as usual, I also worried.  Caroline LOVES going to speech.  She doesn't see it as a deficiency, she sees it as fun and a place where she is special.  I worried that she would be sad that she was done.  I even almost didn't sign the spot that said it would be immediate (I had the choice of it not going into effect for 5 days). I worried that she wouldn't feel special anymore.  I worried that without one-on-one attention in speech, there might not be anyone else looking out for her and she might become just another good the middle of 500 others.

So, I worked out this plan that I would pick up the girls from school and we'd go celebrate Caroline at her place of choice (not just because I was worried--I DID really want to celebrate her hard work, too).  She got in the car and was all smiles (after showing me her boot that had ripped today).  She chose to get frozen yogurt with toppings so we headed to Sweet Frogs and she got yogurt and a shirt so that she would remember the occasion!

The thing is, she was so stinkin proud of herself.  Her speech teacher let her choose from the prize box (she chose Bottlecaps--who doesn't love those!) AND she had Caroline's classmates sign her folder with sweet notes about how awesome she was but that they would miss her--even the little boy who drives her crazy wrote something so nice. 

All too often, we hear the stories of how kids are overlooked in the public school system and fall through the cracks.  This could have happened with us, but I followed my instincts and advocated for her until I had a teacher who saw it as well and she took up the battle.  I say "battle," but it really wasn't that.  Once she was tested, it was obvious she had a deficiency.  BUT still, the teachers and staff worked diligently with her.  They never made her feel less smart than other kids--even when she struggled with reading and spelling.  They loved her sweet smile with the dimple.  They encouraged her. 

I wish I could have bottled the glow she had after school today--words don't do it justice and I don't think a camera could have captured it.  I know this is cheesy, but it really felt like one of those glimpses of heaven God gives us every so often. 

Parenting is not always easy.  In fact, it's full of more hard times than I like to admit.  BUT, it's being a part of  moments like these that make the not-so-easy parenting times worth every bit of the effort. 

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Oh how I wish more parents appreciated their speech therapists like you do! Congratulations Caroline!