As you all know I have been on a hiatus since before Christmas. I felt like this was necessary as talking about everything does help but it also drudges up painful memories. I wanted to take the time to enjoy my family, and not be distracted so I could stay in the spirit.
I have been working through my issues as an individual with a therapist and with all of you on this blog which has been AMAZING! However, a few weeks before Christmas we were presented with another issue that we need to deal with as a family. This will be a whole new experience for me. Our oldest daughter who is in 5th grade was diagnosed with dyslexia and dysgraphia.
This was not a complete surprise to us. However, this is been a problem since kindergarten that I have been discussing with schools, teachers, pretty much anybody who would listen. They all made me think I was crazy! Like a helicopter mom with entitlement or too high of standards. I’m not sure but either way, it got to a point that I started to go against my gut and question myself.
Our daughter has been an honor roll student the majority of the time. She is not a disruptive child, but overall a well-rounded child. She is so smart. I’m not just saying this because she is my kid, she is very witty and has an answer for everything. At first, you may think that is not a good thing as you could imagine this can be a struggle but after the yelling stops from her talking back and she explains herself, it really does make sense and she is not just being a smart ass. She does need to work on her timing though haha.
As a mother, her mother, and me trying to not be my mother, I try to do what is best for my kids even if it seems extreme. This situation though I backed off after a while slightly. After going through multiple years of hearing “that is normal, she is so smart, she will be fine, she will outgrow it, the data doesn’t show a learning disability”. It was like, ok, am I crazy? Is she lazy? What the hell is going on?
Here we are in 5th grade and each grade has gotten harder; the struggles are more front and center. There is no denying that my child is struggling no matter what she has memorized to keep her grades up. I need to do something, and this will eat at me till I do, this is all that was going through my head.
The school did not and does not want to help, which is a major power struggle for me. This is my child we are talking about and to not be taken seriously when you have no idea of my capabilities or education is infuriating to no end. So, my husband and I decided we will pay an extreme amount of money to have our daughter evaluated and tested with a child psychologist.
After the testing which brings us up to a few weeks before Christmas, the psychologist walks out and says how great our daughter is, that she is super smart ( I begin to kick myself in the ass at this point in my head, because this is what the school has said) “ however she says”, her IQ is 120 which is GREAT! , but she suffers from dyslexia and dysgraphia. What the hell is dysgraphia I am thinking, this wasn’t even on my map of what I thought was wrong. If you haven’t noticed, I need to be ahead of the game, so this was left field and triggered major anxiety.
She explained dysgraphia is the root cause to my frustration with my daughter’s horrendous chicken scratch for writing or lack of being able to express or get a thought from her head to paper. This diagnosis makes complete sense. All I could selfishly feel though was RELIEF! There are stages you go through as a parent when your child is diagnosed with any obstacle. I have felt relief, anger, anger is a big one with the school system, determination, anxiety, worry and I am sure many other emotions are still to come.
We have a long road ahead of us with the school system and fighting for her, but what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger and this will make all of us stronger. She has already seemed like a weight has been lifted off of her just by understanding that what she struggles with now has an explanation and she doesn’t feel “stupid” but yet she realizes she just learns differently.
So, this is what has been going on with me and why I have so shamefully neglected all of you and my personal healing process. I am hoping to be back full force with my healing as well as working on advocating for my child and others that have been pushed aside by the system.