I have a 14 year old daughter who was born two months premature. I had placenta previa. I take her to Shriners in Lexington, Kentucky. We are about to go through surgery again. She is a mild case. Her legs are affected, and she is in special education at school.
My child was told in kindergarten that she was expected to be perfect in her writing on the lines. This made school very stressful to start out. She would get upset and say, “I have to be perfect.” I would say, “No, I do not expect you to be perfect. I just want you to do what you can do, and I will always be proud, and you will always be a winner in my book.”
Well, she went on struggling. Her father and I divorced in her start of third grade. She went to a different school, and there the kids were mean. They called her plastic legs, and a boy tried to shove her spelling list down her throat and a broom straw up her nose on the bus. He would try to tie her shoe strings together. It took me four tries to get something done.
One day she came home and said, “Mom, my teacher throws our folders on the floor in front of our desks and we have to fetch them like a dog.” Well, I upsettingly called the teacher and asked her why. She said, “I do not want fourteen kids at my desk.” I said, “But you want them on the floor.” Well, nothing got done of course, because she is a 10 year old. I was asked by this teacher, “Does it bug her to pick up her folder?” I said, “Duh, she has braces on her legs, and it is hard for her to bend when her braces do not let her ankles move!” I then told her about this boy that the principal would do nothing about. She took care of the matter with the boy, but nothing became of the children fetching their folders off the floor.
Well, I then moved her seventh grade year back to the school she started at in the beginning, and the service we received was wonderful. The gym teacher had carpet brought in and they taught her how to roller- skate on carpet. They tightened her skates up so they would not get away from her. She was so uplifted by this. Her teachers are wonderful at this school. She was on honor roll all year this year. The school modified her work, and she is such a changed girl.
I used to have to go to work at night crying, due to we lived with my parents, and she would come home and struggle with homework and cry when it came to math, which is still a sore subject with her. She would cry and scream and say, “I hate my legs.” and “I wish I would die.” and “I want to be like other kids.” It has been one rough road for her and she is stronger and more beautiful every day. I tell her just do what you can and you will always be a winner in my book. I tell her to just ignore these cruel people in the world. I personally think they should teach children about being handicapped, along with manners. They need to restrict their movements for a day and see if they like it.
Now our struggle is her not knowing sense of time and how to calculate money. I am worried about her being able to drive a car, which she has her heart set on in a couple of years. I tell you it is hard to keep being strong. I do it and go on. She cannot ride a two wheel bike and wants a three wheel bike, and I will have to find a way to get one. I have two more children and she acts like mother hen to them and some days forgets I am their mother. I get a tickle out of how determined she is to keep going. She never gives up. She gets in a down mood, and I try to help her. Some days I do not know if I am telling her right or wrong. I guess I am doing okay so far. I am at least here for her and just tell her over and over again she is my little champion.