Thursday, May 3, 2012

Busy Weeks

The next couple of weeks should be fun.  

It’s 5:00 am and Maria and her mom are packing the car for the trip.  Maria got Lorelei out of the crib and right on cue Mikaela woke up screaming. Lorelei is currently in route with mommy through the fog and mist to the University of Virginia to have a few things taken care of.  She has failed the hearing test in her right ear ever since she was born.  The amount she has failed by is very small though.  They feel that cleaning her ears of wax will help her to pass the test.  To no surprise a 14 month old baby will not sit still while a doctor sticks things in her coffee stirrer sized ear canals.  Therefore the doctor this morning will put her under anesthesia, clean her ears, and then test her hearing through brain function while she sleeps.  If he finds that there is water behind the ear drum he will install tubes for the first time.  He has told us that he would like to stay away from this if possible.  I am simply waiting to hear the results now.  That’s it for this week.

Next week Lorelei will make another trip to UVA for an appointment at the Kluge Children’s Rehabilitation Center.  This will be her one year checkup to see how she is developing.  We are all very excited for this appointment.  We have no idea what they will say but are hoping to hear something about how she’s doing wonderful and even possibly “above par” for a child her age.  Ofcourse as long as they don’t tell us that she’s behind somewhere in the developmental process or find something wrong we will be extremely happy.  She is up to the point of cruising along the couch, walking while holding your hands, and even standing independently for a short period of time.  We’ll see what they say. 
Also in week two of this adventure we will begin a process that we were first exposed to through the Noah’s Dad blog.  We have attempted to put Lorelei on the treadmill to help her learn the function of walking.  You never realize how heavy 20 pounds are until you lean over a treadmill in a squat position and are holding the weight out in front of you.  She gets heavy quick.  So now our physical therapist has created an apparatus that stands over the treadmill.  It will support Lorelei so we can work on her foot movement and not focus so hard on holding her up.  We are hoping this advances her walking even faster.  There you go … week 2 in the books!

Now if you don’t mind … it’s time for some random thoughts. 

At my high school it is approaching that time of year when the seniors are working their way out of our system.  Yesterday was the senior cap and gown class picture.  We have one student from the special education classroom that is going to cross the stage this year.  He was all decked out in his maroon cap and gown like all the other male seniors.  You could even tell he was doing his best to sit nice and tall in his wheelchair.  As I looked at our modest number of around 200 seniors and how they all looked so nice and as one big group I noticed something.  Let’s call it the “Cut Out Effect”.  Off to the side of the front row I see a student slightly away from the rest of the group.  He is all dressed to be in the picture and I am sure he is in it but maybe only slightly.  This is my senior student who’s in a wheelchair.  When looking a little closer I felt that something was wrong.  It bothered me that this student was put on the outskirts of the group.  To me this epitomized the apparent mentality of our school and most of society.  “Let’s separate this kid that’s a little different from the rest of the group, not INCLUDE him.”  I am not saying that he should have been in the middle of the picture and the focus of everything.  I would just like to see these students incorporated into the group.  Put him a few students in or something.  It became even more apparent to me how segregated these types of students are from the general population when the seniors finished their picture.  As they all walked away from the bleachers, all 200 seniors walked directly past the student in the wheelchair.  Not one of them acknowledged him being there.  No one looked at him.  No one said hello.  NOTHING!   Am I reading too much into this?  After watching this scene unfold I was speaking with another teacher.  I understand that I may be more aware of this sort of thing due to my personal situation.  But am I too aware?  Am I too politically correct now?  Am I making a big deal of nothing?

What do you think?