Dr. C and the IEP

Let’s talk about victories.

Yesterday, we took Jack to Shriner’s Hospital, which entailed Dutch taking off work so he could ride with me and help mediate car drama. We expected to hear that it was time to set a surgery date for putting pins in the growth plates of Jack’s ankles. We also anticipated stress.

But a few things happened that we didn’t anticipate. The x-ray techs were like magical radiology fairies who took films of Jack’s legs in practically no time at all. Jack didn’t even have time to freak out, they were so quick. That was the first victory.

Jack sat enjoying the fish swimming in their enchanting tank in the lovely waiting area. We sat beside a sweet little immobile dude curled up in his little red wagon and listened to a darling boy sitting in his wheelchair play snatches of Debussy and Chopsticks on the piano. Shriner’s is a light, beautiful place where valiant children converge with lovely staff and remind people like me that life is beautiful and unexpected and hard.

 Then we saw Dr. C, who is one of my favorite physicians ever to walk the earth. I love her. She is funny and smart and pretty and normal and real. And she told us that we don’t need to do surgery. At least not now. We can keep watching Jack’s growth because his x-rays look a little bit better every year. She gave us some low-tech stuff to try to help with his pronation and the swelling in his left leg and foot.

And she said no surgery. So I love her.

Then today. I went to Charlie’s IEP meeting. These meetings are not known for being fiestas. They usually stress a parent out. But Charlie’s meeting was great. He is on this terrific path that is moving onward and upward at a fairly consistent pace. He still has so much to work on, like you know, READING, which he is loathe to do. Again, I will note that one of the great ironies of my life is that my children do not like to read. WHY???

But overall, Charlie is loved by his teachers and classmates and is honestly progressing beautifully. He is set for another year in a small-group autism classroom, which I see as a sort of little educational greenhouse for my tender little seven-year-old plant, who needs just the right amount of extra nurturing and nourishing to grow and catch up to the other plants.

I’m going to say a little prayer for Miss Angie and Mr. Derek and the rest of the team who are teaching Charlie with love and gentleness. And structure.

There are so many good people in the world, and I get to know them and they willingly help my children. That’s going in the prayer, too.

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