You have been shown these things that you might know the Lord is God besides him there is no other.
Thursday, October 8, 2015
Absolutely Incredible News
I let my Jilly off at school everyday. I watch the assistant who is assigned to pick her up from my care greet her with so much love that it takes my breath away. I watch the other adults working the outside drop off line stop everything they are doing, and watch my Jilly because they are waiting for her to approach them to greet them. Greeting others is a goal that they have for my sweet girl at school, and everyone there knows it. All of those around her, stop what they are doing, and wait for her greeting. She is cherished there, and not just by a few, but by the whole community. I receive text messages throughout the week from her team of very special teachers. These messages report her victories and triumphs to me on a regular basis. These things that are reported would seem small to most, unworthy of a text most certainly, but to these professionals who love and celebrate my girl playing with a peer at recess is worthy of being shouted from the rooftops. If you had told me four years ago that an army of people in an elementary school would love, and be so devoted, to my very special baby I would have never believed it. I spent thirteen professional years myself walking the special education halls of a public school, and, while I loved my students, I often felt I was waging war against the establishment as my students were never cherished and valued the way my own daughter is here in our local school district. They provide her with absolutely everything she needs without counting the cost. This was so not the case in my own experience as I taught. My experiences were that we were usually given the cast offs as far as most everything was concerned, and expected to survive on a shoestring budget. I was absolutely against my Jilly ever going to school because of my experiences. I tried the school district back home before moving here, and my experiences as a professional moved to the personal side as I was deceived, lied to, and hurt by the very people assigned to teach my child. I never signed her paperwork, and I wouldn't have let them near her. Again, this confirmed my "I will never send Jilly to school attitude" as we prepared to move to this state, but I was also coming face to face with the fact that I had added another sweet, little babe to our family who was a bit more demanding of my time than I had hoped. It led Sean and I to meet with the district here hoping we might find a better case scenario after we moved. Well, this school district is pretty near perfect. Perfect because they are 100% about loving and caring for my girl, and giving her exactly what she needs. She has several assistants that throughout the day give her all the support she needs. She is reading (by choosing the words on her Nova Chat or pointing to flash cards as she is still nonverbal), writing, modeling words with letter tiles, counting, doing independent tasks, and communicating up a storm through sign language. Many, many days I wish I could go back to that official in her home land to say "I knew she could!" because his "she would never learn" statement was a bit off. She has music, PE, and art all with her peers. She also had adaptive PE everyday (still can't get over this). She spends as much time as she can with her first grade class, and loved attending the fossil gorge field trip last week where she spent the entire day away from school just like all the other six year olds. At her most recent IEP meeting, her teachers were sharing with me just how much she was communicating through sign, and how,at times, she was so frustrated that they didn't know what she was saying. (You should know that while my Jilly can hear everything we say, and follow verbal directions pretty well, she can't speak and uses only sign to tell us what is in her head most of the time.) I was told she was so persistent though as she led her assistant to the very object she was signing for when they didn't understand her monkey bar sign one day. One of her assistants was even doing her best to teach herself ten signs a day so she could communicate with her (LOVE), but it is hard to keep up with Jilly. Last year, she didn't communicate very much at all spontaneously, because it takes my girl a very long to feel safe. This is her second year in this school, with this same staff, and I suspect that she is now taking off because she is feeling 100% safe. I mentioned that it would be over the moon incredible if she could have an interpreter full time. They would be able to model all words and would know her words too. Then, they could redirect what she signed to her NOVA CHAT because ultimately she will be more widely understood in life if she masters this form of communication so we really want her to master using it. Well, I was crying tears of joys this week in the hallway at my darling girl's school when her amazing teacher told me that the district had approved hiring an interpreter for her full time and that the position was now posted! I can't believe the resources they pour into my beauty to insure that she will meet her full potential, but I am praising God that we have access to so much for her as I know this is so not the case everywhere. I can't wait to see where this takes her. Praying they find the right person for this job as my Jilly is one special cookie.
I am a Christ follower, wife of 20 years to my best friend, and a stay at home momma to five amazing daughters. I am currently waiting for one precious special needs treasure to come home from China. I am passionate about the orphan and special needs adoption. I love to teach God's word, am involved in youth ministry alongside my dh, and love,love, love cooking. Above all, I desire to serve God and surrender my life to His call.