I cracked jokes because that’s what I do when I’m nervous or stressed. I always say if I didn’t laugh I’d cry. It was no less true today. A huge milestone was crossed today (as I giggled under my breath) when we entered the room to discuss my daughter’s eligibility for special education with our school district. On the whole she is marginal, and for that we are most grateful. However, that does not take away from the fact that she still needs support. More support than we can give her ourselves.
Months ago I realized she had been misdiagnosed for her Cerebral Palsy. We switched neurologists but had a long wait to see the new one, who confirmed what I had suspected and issued a correct diagnosis. With that in hand, I was able to leverage the services she truly needed through our regional center, though not without a couple of knock down, drag out fights.
So as each of her therapists and the school district team took their seats, I became overwhelmed with emotion and began to cry. I tried to hold it back, and remarked that I had specifically worn mascara to avoid this. Everyone chuckled and that helped me slow the tears. What had started out to be three meetings turned into nine, and this was number eight. I realized and respect the necessity of going through all the reports and assessment summaries required in the process, but they could have simply skipped to the end and told me the result and it would have been enough for me.
“We made it”, I thought as I wiped my tears and smiled. I started to relax as the discussion progressed. We were able to garner the services to support our daughter’s needs, plus preschool, and the enormous relief I felt was so foreign to me after the last three years of worry and tiptoeing through the tulips of Holland. I felt validated and lucky for having the foresight to get what we needed prior to this meeting so this team could properly evaluate our daughter. I felt happy that she would continue to have appropriate support. And I slumped happily in my chair with great relief that we would not have to navigate our way through the maze of searching for therapists on our own and handling all of the insurance paperwork. I would have done it if we had to, but what a blessing we don’t.
Every single fight was taxing. Every phone call and email drained us. But it was all worth it in every way. And I would do it all over again.