Thursday, July 24, 2014

There is a reason...

Reading to her brother and sister :-)

I have not posted a new blog for months! The summer is always a busy time and now with three little Tapp's, life is even busier. I love it. I am exhausted and I am lucky to squeeze in 4-5 hours of sleep a night, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. Have I mentioned I love life right now! It's hard not to, really. There is a reason...plenty of reasons actually! I have three healthy and happy children, a husband who is my partner, bff and confidant, and a job that allows me to have a career and be a mom. Then there are all the extras, one of the most prominent these days is Ella's education.
A very proud Ella after the first day of Summer School!

She will officially be a kindergartner in the fall, but because she gets services like speech, PT and OT at school, she qualifies for the summer program. We made the move a little early to the Kindergarten program she will attend in September. It was 100% the right decision for us. There is a reason certain people come in and out of your life. Like the old adage says, some people just for a season...others last a lifetime. There are people, teachers, friends, coaches, and mentors in all of our lives that can leave a mark and bring about so much change. Although Ella has only had about three weeks in her new classroom, I have a sense that her new teacher is one of those people.

Jason and I first met Ms. Chew in the early spring at one of our district special ed meetings. We both left the classroom with a good feeling immediately. Ms. Chew gave us the sense that she is the right combination of compassion and toughness. She has been teaching special ed for 29 years. She has seen a lot and she loves her job and her students. Her honesty, integrity and passion for teaching is evident as soon as you meet her.

We know what Ella is capable of. We know that she is a smart, sweet, loving little girl. She has made tremendous progress in her five years despite what some doctors and diagnosis have labeled her. We have always believed that Ella is so much more than some mixed up chromosomes or lazy little pituitary gland. We know she is strong willed (she has to be) and we also know she has a fierce stubborn side (I blame Jason, haha!). She has always been curious and takes her time to study her world around her before taking the leap on her own. Our mission has been to make sure everyone else knows all of this about Ella as well. We have been so fortunate to have had so many wonderful therapists and teachers already. Many we still stay in touch with on a regular basis and others that are able to still follow Ella's journey through the power of social media.

Ms. Chew has kept her word she gave us back in March. She has taken a great deal of time just getting to know Ella. She pushed aside stacks of reports and medical records for a little while to just see what our girl really is made of. Of course, all that paperwork is important and Ms. Chew knows that, but her understanding of the children in her classroom embodies so much more. She has said to me a number of times now that Ella has so much inside and she is determined to get every last bit of knowledge and smarts out of her. Jason and I would agree that Ms. Chew is making some good first steps on her way to accomplishing that. Ella's progress has been tremendous in such a short amount of time. She is writing her name clearer, learning her numbers and just so much more aware of the world around her. Her speech is getting better and her sentences longer. Ms. Chew recognized almost immediately that Ella is a visual learner She loves watching her study her classmates. Ella has always loved school, but she certainly has an extra skip in her step walking in to the "big school" (as we like to call it).

I am so impressed with Ella's writing!
All of this brings a sense of happiness, relief and excitement to Jason and me. We have always known Ella's potential, but seeing her change and grow and learn is reassuring. Knowing that we made a good decision to send her to public school, to start the program in the summer and to give her the tools she needs to succeed gives us confidence moving forward. This is exactly where Ella needs to be today. 

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