(11/05/08) - Many of you may not know, but Elsa and I believe that our oldest daughter Bianca is struggling with some developmental delays, and may very well be autistic or on the autism spectrum.
Bianca has been getting Occupational, Developmental, and Speech Therapy for the last year and a half. When she turned three this last Monday, she aged out of her early intervention at home therapy and has now started going to an early intervention pre-school four days a week. She really needs help with her socialization skills and speech. She talks all day, but she doesn't converse with people.
It has been stressful on both Elsa and I as we struggle with the emotions of sending a child that is so young away to a school. Bianca on the other hand... no problems. She cried the first day, but I think that was because she saw the playground and wanted to hit the slide and swings. She rides the bus (full sized... thank goodness) and really enjoys it. I understand from a fellow parent who watched her get off the bus on her first day riding it, that she even got in line with the other kids, held hands and walked into the school together.
Yesterday, I unpacked her book bag and looked through her folder. As soon as I opened the folder... my heart sank. Emblazoned on the first sheet of paper in the folder was a giant letter "F".
I couldn't believe it! The new therapist failed Bianca on her first session. My blood boiled as I tried to comprehend why in the world they would grade a three year old in the first place. What even quantifies getting an "F" at that age? I actually had to fight the growing lump in my throat and watering of my eyes.
I studied the paper carefully. The instructions were clear, "Point to the object when named."
I looked at the pictures on the paper. There were fingers, the number four, a family, the number five, fruit, a face... none of these items were things too complicated for Bianca to figure out. She loves to label things, and does so all day. HOW COULD SHE FAIL?!?
Then I started thinking... she knows fingers... four.... family... five... fruit... face.
Wait a minute.
Fingers... four... family... five... fruit... face.
How strange that all of these words begin with the same letter.... the letter "F".
She was learning words that began with "F". There was no grade given.
"F" stands for Fool... and I am one of the biggest around.
If you have not already, please take time to watch my videos, "Fixing" Autism and Autism Awareness with Nichole337 and share them with your friends.