Monday, August 1, 2011

Annual Review

There is one day a year that makes me cringe.

It approaches so stealthily that I sometimes don't see it coming until it is too late.

Last year I cried. 

This year I was prepared to do the same.

What day am I talking about?

Matthew's annual ECI review.

If you are a parent to a special needs child, then you know exactly what I am talking about.  Sitting around your living room, facing off with specialist who are measuring your child up against a standardized test, well....honestly I am easily broken.

So when this year's review rolled around I prepared myself.  I wore waterproof mascara.  I drank an extra cup of coffee that morning.  I thought of every reason Matthew was amazing regardless of what any test stated.  I was dressed in my armor and ready for war.

Only this year, war did not come. 

Don't misunderstand, our ECI therapists are angels.  Each and every one of them have brought joy into our homes each week.  They laugh with us.  They answer every single silly question I ask (and believe me I ask a lot.)  They celebrate with us.  They are simply amazing. 

Its the test I loathe.

Last week, we sat in the living room for the annual review.  Questions were asked.  I answered honestly.  With each answer I felt my shoulders slump a little more.

Is he rolling over?

No...almost though.

How is his vision?

Not great...he tracks some.

I wanted to tell them about his sense of humor.  I wanted to ask where on the test did it talk about his fantastic smile or determined spirit.

But I sat there.  Slumped in my chair.  Waiting for the bad news.

Only this year, bad news did not come!

Quite the contrary actually, Matthew has made progress in each and every area! 

I'm pretty sure I asked her to repeat herself.  Good news doesn't happen a lot around here.  So I wanted to make sure I had not dozed off and was dreaming the entire situation.

But no, he has truly made progress.  We see his progress.  We notice the little things.  When he held a slinky for two minutes without letting it go, we celebrated.  When he made his opinion known during American Idol, we voted for his favorites. 

But, sometimes you worry these things are not seen by the people with the paper and the pens.  Those paper and pens have this power over me.  I want them to see his progress.  I want them to watch what happens when Matthew hears Katy Perry.  I want them to watch him giggle so hard we have to remind him to breathe.  Those are the things that matter. 

And to my amazement, this year they noticed. 

On an overall scale, last year Matthew was at a 0-3 month level.  This year he is closer to a 9-12 month level.

How is that for awesomesauce?!?!

So you know what we did?  We made cupcakes.  We cried.  We called everyone we could think of to tell them the good news.  We did our happy dance.

In this house, all small accomplishments are still accomplishments.  We celebrate everything!

And we are still celebrating!  I am a proud mommy to two beautiful children who continue to amaze us and everyone they meet.

Happy Monday blogger friends!!!

1 comment:

  1. such wonderful news. Way to go Matthew and way to go mommy.

    sorry I haven't gotten back to you about the blenderized diet. We started it a week ago and basically I just give him regular food through his tube. A mix of fruits, veggies, grains, and beans. We aren't doing any dairy because of his lungs and are starting with no meat because he eats through a J tube. Feel free to ask any questions and if I don't have answers I know lots of other mommies who have been doing this for years.