One step forward, two steps back.

I received a call today from Kerri's school. The school board has denied the request for an FM system for Kerri. The reason? Because Kerri did not receive a specific diagnosis on either her Speech Language Pathologist's or Audiologist's reports. Why? Because even though they clearly state Kerri has CAPD, they would not officially diagnose her because they think there is an even greater problem (in her brain) and that the auditory processing is just part of whatever is actually causing all the different issues (coordination and balance, fine motor skills, phonological delay, sensory processing, auditory processing, dyslexia....etc.). I could just scream.

So we are going to ask our doctor to refer Kerri to the neuro-pyschologist (hopefully at the Children's Hospital) for further tests, and then this summer have a psych-education evaluation done, and a new CAPD screening done as well. And hopefully before the end of the year, we will have a firm diagnosis and can go forward with the requests for all the special equipment Kerri needs/will need in school (FM system and a laptop, for starters).

There go our dreams of taking a vacation again - and forget going to see Harry Potter in Florida.

On a bright note, the school thinks Kerri is doing very well academically with all the IEP accommodations in place. Yet she still cannot hold a pencil properly, still writes certain letters and numbers backwards, still cannot do her buttons and zippers, still cannot dodge a ball or balance, and is still very accident prone (she has managed to break her glasses at school every single month this school year). When the teachers put her on the bench, I told them to keep her in the game - but to warn the kids not to aim for her head. When the teachers don't push her academically, I supplement her education at home. Kerri works harder than any second grader in that school - not only because she has to, but because she wants to. And the school is really working with her, and she is receiving therapy at home and at school.

As frustrating as this all is, I absolutely will do whatever it takes to help Kerri be the best she can be. And so far, her intelligence and wit and humor have astounded everyone. Her vocabulary and logic and reasoning are equivalent to someone much older than 7. And her perseverance not only won her an award at school, but the hearts of every educator she has encountered.

I cannot reverse the damage that was done to her in China. I cannot blame her birth mother, the malnutrition, the neglect in the orphanage, the lead and salmonella poisoning she suffered there. Whatever the reasons, despite it all, Kerri is here today, as healthy as possible, and bringing joy to our lives. So I will put a smile on my face even though I feel like crying, and will brush myself off and gain perspective again. And be grateful for what we do have, and all that we can still achieve.

Life with Kerri will be stronger.