Tuesday, May 1, 2012

An IEP, a 6 Year Old, and CP Connection #5

Nina is 6 years old! This will be the third birthday we celebrate with her but the first one where she is not recovering from some sort of surgery. Somehow, it feels like a huge milestone! There are plans of cake, presents, birthday songs, and a party.

Yesterday, we also had her IEP (Individualized Education Plan). We went through the goals she had for this year, and this incredible little girl has met all of her goals! We then talked about the goals that we will have for her next year. I know that IEP's can be a pain, but we have an incredible team to work with. As we sat around the table Andy and I were overwhelmed by the love and care that all the teachers, therapists, and support staff have for our daughter. We are incredibly blessed by these people.

On the first day of school, a little girl with Cerebral Palsy was pushed in her wheelchair. Today, the same little girl walks independently in her school. Andy and I took the wheelchair home and her walker is rarely used. Talk about courage and determination wrapped up in the body of a 6 year old little girl that won't let her disability stop her!

One of my concerns was weather we should have Nina repeat Kindergarten or if she was ready to move on to 1st grade. Nina spent the first 3 and a half years of her life in an orphanage, and there are areas in her development where it is clear she has not caught up with her typical peers (aside from her CP). However, talking to the teachers and going through Nina's progress, we are once more amazed at this little girl. She is ready to move on and she is not lagging behind her peers. She might not have a best friend at school, but I wonder if this is because her best friends really are her sisters.

There are times when being the parent of a kid with special needs might be hard, but then there are times when your child's accomplishments are so satisfying that you smile, from a place deep down, and you feel like you are floating in the sky. We are so proud of Nina, so proud of our little girl.
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It is once again time for our CP connection! Do you blog about Cerebral Palsy? Join us as we connect through our blogs!

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That's it! Now go visit new friends and learn from their experience as they live life with CP.


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9 comments:

  1. Go, Nina! You are amazing.

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  2. Congratulations on meeting all your goals Nina! Your smile brightened my day.

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  3. Watching growth take place is such a good thing!

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  4. Great job Nina, this progress is inspiring and amaZing, thanks for sharing Ellen, this made me smile.

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  5. Ellen, I love reading your blog. My best friend has CP (also spastic diplegia), and she has taught me so much about life. Your daughter reminds me of what my friend was like when she was little. She wasn't even supposed to survive her first week, but she did, and she grew up to graduate from college in three years, teach on her own in Russia for two years, and get married, and she is now preparing for a family. God is so good. Thank you for sharing your heart; I'm learning from you as I prepare to one day hopefully adopt a child with CP.

    And happy birthday, Nina!
    Miranda

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  6. Ellen, I love reading your blog! I'm learning from you as I prepare to one day hopefully adopt a child with CP. My best friend has spastic diplegia, and I've learned so much about life, compassion, and determination from her. Your writing about your daughter reminds me of my friend. She wasn't even supposed to survive her first week, and if she did, the doctors said she'd be a vegetable. God proved Himself bigger than that because she grew up to be bilingual, graduate from college in three years, and teach independently in Europe for two years. God is so cool!

    I'll be praying for your family as you prepare for the next year of school, and I'll ask specifically that God prepares an amazing friend there for Nina. Happy birthday, Nina! :)

    Miranda

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    1. Miranda, thank you so much for sharing the story about your friend! I sometimes wonder if someday Nina will walk back to her orphanage and be a light in the place where she spent almost 4 years of her life. She has told us she wants to go back and find families for all the children...that thought coming from her touches my heart like you have no idea!

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  7. What a great birthday this will be for Nina! And I love the new set up for CP connection!

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    1. Glad you like the new setup, I hope it makes it work better.

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