Kayla with glasses

Kayla went to her friend Anthony’s birthday party yesterday. Here she is showing off her cool shades…

I had a good time at her little friend’s party, but I couldn’t help thinking that the other kids had quite a spectacular vocabulary compared to my little one. A little red haired girl that was there used the sentence, “That is Anthony’s mommy.” Anthony himself can say “They swung the stick at Elmo’s head and it fell off.” (Referring to my daughter’s party last month in which we had an Elmo shaped pinata that I guess was pretty traumatic to see beaten with a stick. So traumatic, in fact, that this kid that was at her party still talks about it everyday.) Of course when that sentence is said out loud by a toddler it doesn’t sound quite like that, a little more like “Day swung da stick ad emo’s hed init fell owff.” But still, not the point. My daughter is still running around the party saying nothing but “Ball!” Which isn’t even correct in that sense because she is referring to the balloons. Every time I bring up her speech to family or friends they say one of the following statements;

1. She will catch up I’m sure.

2. Well if she walked out of this whole thing with only a little bit of a speech problem then we should be happy! (For all that don’t know what I’m referring to is that my daughter suffered two strokes when she was born that caused quite a bit of brain damage and according to the prognosis that her neurologist gave after seeing her MRI, she isn’t supposed to be doing the things that she is…we don’t know how or why, she is just a miracle.)

3. Yeah, but your daughter is really smart when it comes to other things!

I guess I don’t really like any of these statements because although she may catch up in her speech, to me, it still foreshadows her future in school. Of course I am extremely grateful that she can do the things she does. Of course I am proud of everything she does and how hard she works. Of course I think she is a very intelligent little girl even if we pretend this whole thing never happened. But she is already having trouble at two years old. What problems are we going to have when they expect her to learn to read, spell, figure out an algebra equation? Will I be trying to get her into every new tutoring program I can find? Sticking her in “special education” classes? Taking her out of regular high school to put her into a specialty school just so she can graduate? Will she even have a chance at going to college?

I will love every bit as much if this is or isn’t the case, DUH, I just can’t stand the fact that I won’t know the extent of the damage until we are there, the not knowing. I will learn more and more each year and I guess I am just supposed to tell myself that we will cross that bridge when we get there, but how am I supposed to do that? Do I pretend like nothing has happened like the rest of my family (especially my husband) does and say, ‘she will be fine, she will be normal?’ Or do I get extremely proactive on the whole situation and make sure she gets all the help and resources available to her? I think choice number two is the obvious answer. She is starting speech therapy soon, which I think is a great plan. Why not give her all the help I can, maybe minimize the damage in the future? When we come to the next bridge, we will cross it. I just HATE not knowing now and I can’t even wait to get to the bridge.