"Well...we can work on that if you'd like, but I think she'll always need someone to feed her". Those were the words that have been echoing in my thoughts ever since they were said by a therapist at Felicity's CSE meeting last Friday. You may think my primal reaction would have been to inflict physical harm to this person, but it wasn't. I was too shocked to respond at all.Period...So in that moment I did not. The fact remains that this is a possibility...However, it is also possible that one day she WILL independently feed herself. At 6 years old I think it is unfair for ANYONE to decide her fate. Fortunately, Felicity is a fighter and so is her mother. But, what if?...What if I wasn't? What if I sat back and trusted that the professional knows it all? What if I didn't work with disabled people for almost seven years leading up to becoming a stay at home mom? What if I didn't have a large support network? Words are powerful, especially when said by the people we are entrusting our children to. I think it is important for educators and therapists to completely understand this. I want to be clear...I am not suggesting anyone should lie to us, however, unless a professional is 100% certain of what a child will NEVER do or ALWAYS need...KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT! This is an opinion, NOT a fact!
Since last Friday, I spoke to Felicity's teacher and the offending therapist. I expressed all of this and more. I told them that if Felicity feels(and she will feel it) that someone doesn't believe in her...IT IS NOT OKAY! Felicity, like most children need to know that her therapists, teachers, etc... are entirely on her team.
I have also set up an evaluation with a PT and OT at a well respected hospital that has a cerebral palsy program so that Felicity can have these services in addition to what she receives at school.
As Felicity's mother and advocate I am choosing to be a part of the solution instead of the problem. It is not only my responsibility, but it is Felicity's right to be given a fair chance at having the most independent life possible. I will ALWAYS have faith in her ability to progress. My simple message to anyone who teaches, treats or cares for children with special needs is: PLEASE THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK! WORDS ARE POWERFUL!
~Yours Truly Maxinne
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