A shift in focus

While I am always “lookin up” for our Blessed Hope, presently my attention is being drawn away from the world’s prophetic headlines and focusing more on my own little world: namely, my daughter. She is ten years old and was diagnosed with mental retardation, unspecified, right after she turned six-though we knew something was “wrong” since she was two. Part of her challenges include severe expressive and receptive language disorders. Though she is ten, she tests on average at the level of a four year old. In fact, her four year old brother is more advanced than she in some comprehension.  We’ve always had an issue with behavior and discipline, as we try to determine what consequences are appropriate for her level of understanding…..does she understand why she is being punished, etc?

I’ve home schooled her most of her academic career though she did spend a year in public school before we moved. This past summer I met with the special education department at the new elementary school to discuss her receiving speech and OT while being home schooled and decided instead to enroll her half a day. She attends public school for 2-3 hours a day, to receive specialized attention in reading, writing and math from their FMD (functionally mentally disabled) class. However, we are in week three and her behavior has been extreme: both at home and school. We are facing defiance issues and aggressiveness.

Anyway, to top it all off, she has exhibited seizure-like episodes twice in the past week. She has no history of seizures, not even in either family. Today we saw a neurologist who is pretty certain what we’ve witnessed are seizures but will do an EEG next week to be certain. He says her MR makes her susceptible to them. He also says her cognitive impairment makes her almost completely unable to reason between right and wrong, so her defiant behavior is not intentional. I’m not sure I fully agree with that, but that’s another story.

1st day at Woodlawn, 4th grade Ms. Webb

So, you see, I’m a little preoccupied with this very important matter at hand. I continue to look up, though, and draw strength from our ever present help. I try not to dwell on all the things my precious girl may miss out on, that other young ladies get to experience. It is difficult, though, to see her struggle with having a ten year old body but a four year old mind. In some ways she’s very bright and can do most anything she sets her mind to, that she takes an interest in. (Let’s not get started on how the neurologist warned me her mental impairment coupled with her looks put her at risk of abuse in the future. That alone makes one want to home school her! This is an evil world, in case you haven’t noticed. )There are many complex layers to her that have no explanation (no brain injury or trauma for example), but I know that God loves her even more than I do and He has a plan for her. I also know:

He will feed His flock like a shepherd;
He will gather the lambs with His arm,
And carry them in His bosom,
And gently lead those who are with young.  Isaiah 40:11