Monday, November 30, 2015

Hello my darling Em,

This has been a difficult month for your Mom and Dad and for you.  In your best interest they have decided to take you out of Fatima school and place you in La Lucia Primary.  The decision wasn't made lightly and they knew that you would be upset but sometimes parents have to do things for the best even though their children don't see it at the time.

Although you are a bright, intelligent little girl with an exceptional memory, you struggled to keep up with the other children for the first few months at Fatima, especially in writing and other activities that required fine motor skills.  Children with Osteogenesis Imperfecta generally have normal to above normal intelligence but they might struggle with lax muscles that affect motor skills.  This means that they might need more time to complete tasks like writing or activities.  Fatima doesn't cater for children who need extra time or special care.

Children with OI sometimes have difficulties with math.  A lack of typical childhood play and exploration which involves problem solving; climbing up a rope ladder to reach a platform, crawling through a tunnel to get to the other side, clambering over obstacles, also affects conceptual ability which is necessary in math.
You have been going to physiotherapy for a number of years and earlier this year Mom and Dad found an excellent occupational therapist to help you with holding a pencil properly, with writing skills and understanding the concepts of math as it is related to physical movement.  They also started sending you to a remedial teacher who has helped you tremendously with reading and understanding the concepts that are taught in Grade One. (Both of these teachers are based at La Lucia primary.)

From around May to October all your hard work started to pay off.  You practically caught up with  the whole of Grade One curriculum in six months.  When you were assessed by the remedial teacher last month, your writing age was 7 years and 1 month and your reading, 7 years and 5 months.  The school agreed that you had made great progress and because of this you would be promoted to Grade Two. But, they suggested that you might need to continue with your therapy and remedial in Grade Two.
All the extra lessons and therapies, done after school hours, has taken its toll on you and your Mom.  Every teacher and therapist gave you homework to do and you often had to work until dinner time to get everything done.  The extra activity you enjoy the most is swimming, but it meant that you had extra classes to go to nearly every day and no time to play or relax.
Both the remedial teacher and the occupational therapist work at La Lucia Primary.  You have made friends with the Grade Two class teacher and you always visit her on the days you go to OT.  It made sense to move you there for the next two years.  It wasn't easy to get you into the school so close to the end of the year, but you have been accepted into Grade Two and will start at your new school in January.
When Mom and Dad told you, you were very upset because you like Fatima and have friends there.  You told Mom that La Lucia had a steep bank and you wouldn't be allowed to walk onto the field.  Mom said that you could use the stairs.  "But they don't have a PTA so you won't come to the school often," you said.  Mom assured you that she would volunteer often at the school. 
When you came to visit us and told me, quite sadly, that you have to change schools, I told you that it was wonderful news!  We knew Mom and Dad had applied but weren't sure that there would be space for you. 

But you looked sad so I offered to be sad with you for a little while, counting to 10, but then I would have to be happy again.   I hugged you close, made a sad face, and we counted: "One - sad, Two - sad, Three - sad....." and then after reaching 10 - sad, we both shouted, " 11 - happy!!"

You have been to buy your new uniform, which you say is much more comfortable than your Fatima School dress. Gumpie asked if he could have your hat because he's been looking for one just like that.

You are a strong little girl, Em.  We know that this disappointment will pass and that you will make new friends at La Lucia Primary next year.  We will all be here to support you and comfort you.  Big hugs my darling girl ♥