From the beginning of Cora's school career I knew there was a good chance she would need some type of help learning. In Kindergarten I could see signs of some social struggles. At the time, I figured it was just the learning curve for 5 and 6 year olds. When Cora entered the first grade I began to identify Cora's comprehension struggles. After seeing this I began to see her struggle with her numbers in math class, as well as not understanding directions on her homework sheets. Honestly it just appeared out of no where one day. Since that day I have been advocating for this sweet thing and her right for a good education.
As Cora continues to get older, class settings are changing. Things are increasingly more challenging daily for her. She is encountering more classes, more responsibility, having to be organized, and self sufficient with time management and memory. For Cora it is pure stress, fear, anxiety, and melt downs on a regular basis. For me, it is a time to put all my ducks in a row! To begin educating all her teachers about her current IEP, and her additional diagnosis through Children's Hospital. This is crucial for Cora's school career success. Is this easy? Absolutely not!! It is literally starting all over, every year, as if they don't know Cora. It is spoon feeding information to the IEP teacher(s), as well as her individual teachers. It is being patient yet stern at the same time. It is listening to 6 teachers try to tell you they know your child better than you. It is a constant tug of war, remembering and reminding we are all here to do our best for her education. IT IS SIMPLY EXHAUSTING!
Each new school year brings another year of educating the educators. As much as the children look forward to summer, the more I do not! Not because I don't want my children around, it's just the starting over at the beginning of each school year that gets to me! The end of the school year wipes out all the work a CHD parent does in advocating throughout the school year. The slate is wiped clean and starting over is inevitable! But, through the years I have learned a few things. Some things that I learned were touch lessons, while others came through God's grace.
Soon my CHD daughter will be headed off to high school wanting to be just like every other person in high school. Educating starts at home, teaching your CHD child, and then armed together we will be ready to join hands and encounter another big, new change called high school.
Please look for part 2 of CHD advocating in the school. I will share 5 things I have learned over the years having a CHD daughter with an IEP. Plus a few tricks to make things go a little more smoothly. If we join together not only will be spreading CHD awareness, we will be paving a better path for those sweet little CHD children yet to come into the educational school system!
Blessings Until Next Time!