Relief

The dreaded Parent Teacher Conferences were yesterday. I was so nervous. You know, after years of going to Julia's IEPs and hearing all these horror stories of what she's doing wrong, I was pleasantly surprised to hear she is doing well in Kindergarten. Yay! My stomach started to hurt just thinking about all those meetings I had to attend in her preschool years.

Many people will never know what it's like to have a child with a sensory disorder. You can't cry about it in public; you have to be strong and get proactive. But let me tell ya, I cried hard in the car so many times those first few years. I felt very alone and very guilty because it must have been my fault: too much tv, not enough attention, the wrong foods, the wrong parenting style, etc. After reading a lot of material on the subject, both technical and personal accounts from parents just like me, I saw that Julia was very sensitive to certain things. Cutting out milk as much as I could (hard because she loves it so much) and really getting in her face to talk and direct her, school, the meetings . . . all of it has helped, and I'm so proud of her!!

I remember when she was three and I made her sit and listen to puppet shows. "Hi, I'm Ralph the dog and what's your name?" "I think her name is Julia. Julia. Can you say your name is Julia?" Nothing. Then a month later she came in the room and said, "My name is Julia," and walked out. There was this wall blocking her from being able to express herself. My job (and the school was a huge part of this) was to break down this wall. I feel it is broken, but she'll always be a little trippy, though not any more than the cool artists I know!

The other thing I wanted to say was how much writing has meant to me as a means of expression and escape. I was terribly down with all of the above and was very alone. And bitter. But I won't go into that. I just want to say that life is good. Julia was sent to me because she needed me, and I needed her. We both traveled this journey together and what a beautiful, smart, creative little girl I have!


Comments

  1. No doubt, a very 'cool artist' in the making. Please congratulate her from me.

    Bisou, Cro.

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  2. I'm so happy for your little daughter! She sounds like a very special child.

    It's true that you can't really know what someone is going through unless you've walked in their shoes, but we CAN empathize to some extent if we've been through something similar. My grandson who is nine is high functioning autistic. This has been a challenge for my oldest daughter and their family (he's the youngest of six children), and you are so concerned when you see the child struggle. But step by step you seek out resources to help the child and just keep trying to be as supportive as you can. It's awesome when there's a breakthrough.

    It's wonderful that you have her. These are special children sent to us, I think, to help US learn. It's true: you need her and she needs you!!
    Ann

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  3. What a special little girl. I bet that was such a surreal and magical moment when she came to you that day and said "My name is Julia," so matter-of-fact, so confident, that she never doubted herself, she always know.

    Those moments are special, and the one's you hold onto when times start to get tough again.

    Sounds like you both make one another better, and that's amazing! She's very special & lucky to have you!

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  4. Amy! What a wonderful post; how good to hear you so happy and great to hear that Julia is progressing! And really, who isn't quirky? Seriously! It's a good thing! :)

    She's very lucky to have such a dedicated mum.

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  5. Julia is such a special, beautiful little girl - like my Julie (except that my Julie is 33 years older.) What a treasure for you the day she said,'My name is Julia'. I'm so glad too that the Parent Teacher thingy went well, they're a bit of an ordeal at the best of times! Julia's art work is amazing! Yes she was sent for you and you for her!

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  6. Ann- I thought of you a little bit when I wrote this. A parent is heartbroken when their child has any kind of disability, and I feel very deeply for what you and your beautiful girl have gone through. You are a shining example of success through being positive and moving forward with love and hope.

    Jen- Thank you! I duv my little Julia!!

    Talli- Julia can claim (and blame) the quirky thing on me! And when she makes a ton of money on her paintings I want a cool car or something for the inheritance : )~

    molly- High fives for the Julie-Julias of the world! ^5^5

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  7. What a special little girl! And I'm so glad you're daughters is progressing. Life and children will amaze you in that way. Anything can happen. :)

    Hope you have a great weekend!

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  8. Thank you Kim! Hope you have a great weekend as well!

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