Monday, May 24, 2010

Special & Unique

For the past several weeks Isabel has been meeting with Tia Nancy, the psicopedagoga at the Teleton where Isabel receives physical and occupational therapy. I am not exactly sure how psicopedagoga translates to English - educational psychologist, maybe? The purpose of her evaluating Isabel was basically to observe her physical challenges in an educational setting as a result of her cerebral palsy.

This evaluation was recommended to us so that we can better interact with the school regarding Isabel's needs. While she is very bright and doing well academically, she struggles physically to keep up with some classroom assignments. For instance, Chilean education is based more on note-taking than the use of workbooks. Every subject requires a different notebook and each day's lessons, homework assignments, etc. are recorded in it. When I met with Isabel's teacher not long ago she expressed concern that Isabel was not able to keep up with the note taking and thus her notebooks were incomplete. It was suggested that we borrow notebooks from other parents to complete what was missing.

While doing so is common practice in Chile, it seems rather tedious and unfair. We considered that perhaps the teacher could provide photocopied notes for Isabel's benefit but before discussing it further wanted the psicopedagoga's evaluation to better explore Isabel's situation.

There are so many times when we almost forget that this special daughter of ours has some unique needs. She is so very strong and capable, yet there are still times when Isabel needs us to advocate for her. These thoughts are on my mind tonight as I prepare to draft a note to her music teacher before tomorrow's evaluation of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" on the recorder.

She has been so excited about playing the recorder that I guess I didn't pay close enough attention to the challenge it presented for her. As she tried her hardest to cover all the holes with her fingers she simply was unable to properly do so. Her cerebral palsy presents itself as spastic diplegia which in laymen's terms means she has stiffness throughout her body and especially in her lower extremities. However, in Isabel's case her fine motor skills are affected as well. She has to work extra hard to hold her pencil, write neatly without tremors, etc. So holding the recorder while covering the holes and blowing all at the same time is quite difficult.

I only wish I had realized this before the day of the test, as I know the timing may seem a bit suspicious! But we do what we have to do. :)

Meanwhile, isn't this a darling picture of our sweet girl??


Terri Fisher said...

Hopefully soon Isabel will have a cousin who will share her special qualities! I know that Isabel will be a source of encouragement for us and Sophia, should our adoption come to fruition. Let us know how the recorder eval goes!

HollyMarie said...

She sure is beautiful Steph!

daniel said...

At least you didn't try the ol' "my dog ate the recorder" trick. But seriously we can relate and will pray for Isabel and the rest of you guys.
I think psicopedagogia is "psychoeducation" in english, so psicopedagoga seria "psychoeducator" o maestra de psychoeducation.

Corey and Nicki Shields said...

She is beautiful!