Thursday, January 26, 2012

No title tonight

Tonight while I was blogging, Scooby came up to join me on the couch.  He put his paw on the keys and starting pouncing on them writing all kinds of things.  He is very advanced.
Eventually he put his head down on the computer.  I tried to take his picture, but every time I lifted the camera, he moved.  Ah well.  You will have to take my word for it.

Today was a busy day.  I helped in the health office with screenings this morning.  Then Finley's teacher of the vision impaired (TVI) came by for her monthly check in with us.  Then an excavator came by to talk to us about our summer project.  Then Arlington had tennis (tomorrow's session was canceled, so she went today instead).
 The meeting with Finley's TVI was the most significant.  She told me that Finley is doing great.  She is moving right along in braille, clearing one hurdle after another.  She showed me all the words and letters she has learned to recognize both sighted and with her fingers.  She had learned to load the paper in the brailler (which may not sound like a big deal, but it is complicated - especially when you are 5).  She is doing great.

Of course we talked about what we should do next year.  As January turns into February, I feel like May will be here before we know it and we will have to decide what we are doing for Finley next year.  Finley's TVI is now leaning more toward Finley going to transitional next year.  Basically she worries about Finley's stress level.  First grade is a huge jump in learning.  There is a lot more demand and on top of the regular classroom demands that Finley has, she has the braille demands on top of them.
We see it as this - it is like you take a child in regular education and tell them now they have to spend each day ALSO learning Russian (at age 6) and needs to be proficient at it before the end of the year.  GO.  Finley has to learn all the regular education stuff PLUS another language.  Is this a huge deal?  Not really.  But it is hard for her.  Kids who are blind from the beginning only learn braille.  Finley is learning both print and braille.  And that print is getting harder and harder for her to read.

I talked with my mother - in -law for a long time today.  Not only is she a great listener and someone I trust very much, she also taught elementary for a very long time.  She taught 1st grade for a long time.  She listened to my concerns and gave me some amazing suggestions.  She suggested we visit the transitional classroom to see where they are at this time of the year, and what they are learning.  Then she also suggested visiting the first grade classroom and see what THEY are expected to do at this time of the year.  Excellent suggestion.  It may give me some good insight to see where Finley will be expected to be in regular education at this time next year to see how much of a reality it is for her.
On a lighter note, our foundation is doing some amazing things.  I will be making some announcements soon about what will be happening in the near future, and it is all fantastic.  I want to wait until everything is official, and then I will share.  But in the meantime, we are planning a Dining in the Dark event coming up on February 24th, 25th, and 26th.  Tomorrow I will post all the details!  The event will be in Connellsville, PA, so if you live around or near the area, we hope you will consider coming.

When I get down about what Finley is facing, I am rejuvenated by the work of our foundation and all the wonderful people that made the possibility for a cure possible.  I see a future for her that is very different than what it would be if we didn't fight back.  I get excited that all of this may be put behind us in the very near future, and I can go back to being a boring blogger with a normal family life.

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