However, as with most love stories the path to love was not easy for Lucy and George, as Lucy was betrothed to another. Prior to confessing her love for George, Lucy finds herself lying to everyone... including herself. Which brings me to my tale.
You see my friends, I too have been lying... or rather, I haven't been completely honest. Oh, not about love and not about anything harmful, but up to this point I have only written about things I wanted you to know about. And that's been Emma. For Emma is the one I was most concerned about as she enters adolescence. But, for 'Fasten Her Seatbelt' to grow - for ME to grow - things need to change a bit.
In reality, all of my girls - ALL - have been on an IEP. Emma as you know was diagnosed with an ASD at age 4. Isabella is an adult now, so I feel those are her stories to tell... which leaves me with Frannie. Fran was diagnosed with ADHD and Dyslexia when she was six years old.
Why? Why is that so hard to write? Does it make me less of a wife, mother, woman? Is there something wrong with me? Is there something wrong with my genes that I keep passing disorder after disorder on to my children? I lived a clean life - scouts honor! So that part is all about me - the 'self doubt', the 'what did I do', the 'you need to get over it and know that you are doing everything you can for your children now' is all me.
LOOK, look in the mirror Chron and remember Stuart Smalley's Daily Affirmation:
I'm Good Enough.
I'm Smart Enough.
And Doggone It,
People Like Me.'
Huge cleansing breath - ahhhh, feeling better already.
Lucy, the protagonist in our story 'A Room With a View' felt much better when she told the truth about her feelings for George, after lying to Mr. Beebe, Mrs. Honeychurch, Freddy, the servants and herself, paving the way for a happy life. I too now feel better, and would like to introduce you to the 'real' Fran and her story.
|Fran and I, mugging for the camera|
Fran is the baby in the family - our last, but certainly not least. She's so completely unlike her two sisters.. always on the go, always looking for something to do, always moving! Sitting down at the table with Fran is like sitting down with a bag of popcorn on high... pop, pop, pop, pop, pop! She's all over the place - but then, that's just Fran. It's as if there's so much energy inside her little body, she just shimmers with it. As she lays in bed at night, the energy just builds up until she suddenly bursts and spazzes out into a fit of wiggles and shakes, finally giving her some sense of release. We affectionately call her 'The Night Crawler'.
For her dad and I, this behavior is a walk in the park - typical really, right?
But our journey really begins with school. Kindergarten came and went. No red flags, it was half a day - we were pretty much focused on Emma's needs. Besides, Frannie was our golden girl - our baby. And then came first grade.
I have to admit - first grade kinda pissed me off. For as wonderful as our school system has been with Emma, they dropped the ball with Fran. I noticed Fran was having difficulties with reading. Heck, she was having difficulties with EVERYTHING. Her sight words were a wreck, she was transposing numbers, spelling tests were a disaster and when she would tap out simple three letter words, ie: P-A-T, she would often times pronounce it as: TAP.
I had conferences with her teacher:
'What's up with Fran? I'm a little concerned about her progress, or rather her lack thereof. I think something else might be going on here.'
Only to be reassured that this was normal development, these mistakes were common at her age. *Fran was given a reading specialist her first quarter of school, only to be taken off her second quarter, as her reading had 'improved'. (Many Dyslexics listen to someone read a story or information while they look at the pages that are being read and remember what is being read. Then when someone wants them to read the page, the Dyslexic student will repeat what they heard and use the picture of the text and any accompanying pictures to remember the words.)
At the end of Fran's third quarter of first grade I received a progress note home from her teacher. I will never forget that day or that note. It read:
'Your daughter is failing both reading and spelling - it is my recommendation that she remain in the first grade next year.'
And then the sh*t hit the fan.
You know how 'testing' can take forever? Then there's the times that it doesn't... this was one of those times. Needless to say, Fran did not remain in the first grade the following year. This year Fran entered the fourth grade, and is in her third year of a specialized one on one reading intervention program as well as a small group reading program and mathematics program. She loves science, athletics, cooking, art, photography - well, pretty much everything.
|writing sample - 08.27.2012|
Reading and spelling is still very difficult for her - her ADHD doesn't help. She struggles with it every day, and gets very frustrated. She relies a lot on her memory, and can pretty much tell you anything that anyone has ever said. EVER. It's heartbreaking though, when she shouts out in frustration:
'Why can't i just read a book like my friends? That's all I want to do!'
Day by day, we work on it. Encouraging her to read.
In the meantime she gets in her 'daddy time', as my husband enjoys reading epic novels to her.
Currently they are reading "Leviathan' by Scott Westerfeld.
Development Reading Disorder (DRD), or Dyslexia, occurs when there is a problem in areas of the brain that help interpret language. It is not caused by vision problems. The disorder is a specific information processing problem that does not interfere with one's ability to think or to understand complex ideas. Most people with DRD have normal intelligence, and many have above-average intelligence.
DRD may appear in combination with developmental writing disorder and developmental arithmetic disorder. All of these involve using symbols to convey information. These conditions may appear alone or in any combination.
DRD often runs in families.
'A Room With A View'
Giacomo Puccini: 'O Mio Babbino Caro'