As you can see swimming in our little pool has become a daily routine. We are usually swimming around 5 or 6 in the afternoon. The rush of the day is over and the pool is completely shaded by our house. Caleigh has been doing amazing things in the pool. Normally, Caleigh doesn't roll from back to tummy, but in the pool she is a rolling machine. She flips from front to back and back to front. Being on her belly and kicking is her favorite position. All of the "waves" you see in these photos are from Caleigh kicking. She can make it from one side of the pool to the other. Kicking under water is totally new this year. I have a feeling all the leg lifts that we've been doing in intensive PT and at home are paying off. Caleigh's hip flexibly is getting better. What better way to practice leg lifts than in the water?
We went to the GI doctor since I last posted. Caleigh's doing so well. Our doctor was very impressed. We did decide that at what ever point we want to start feeding Caleigh; we will do a scope and biopsy to look at the enzymes Caleigh has. These enzymes will be able to tell us what she can and can not eat. All of those months, if not years, of trying new foods and waiting on a reaction was just a learning process. There really isn't much of an "allergy." Basically if Caleigh's body can't break down the food with the proper enzymes then she can't tolerate it. We aren't at a point that we want to rock the boat, but it's good to know that there may be more answers in the future.
This past weekend I attended a meeting with our local ARC. They had a speaker whose main blurb is inclusion in our schools and communities for those with a disability. I also watched the documentary Including Samuel twice. I read Disability is Natural what seems like forever ago, but really I reference the book all the time. All of these things paired with talking to our old vision teacher, rekindled the need/want to send Caleigh to public school.
Quite honestly, Caleigh is amazing at academics, I haven't even posted everything she knows, but when it comes to social and emotion behaviors we've been having some issues. I want to believe that putting Caleigh in a classroom setting will help her view of having a disability and also help her achieve the skill of patience. I'll never know until we try.
We have taken Caleigh's health into great consideration. This year is nothing like where we were at last year. When we met with our GI doctor, we talked about having a nurse or a one-on-one aide with Caleigh at all times. For right now, we have agreed on a full time aide. He wanted a nurse, but the more I thought about it the more anxious I became. So I talked to him again and we agreed on the aide to start with. We are anticipating Caleigh being sick with the normal cold & bug stuff for the first 3-4 months of starting school, but with her immune system being stronger and her being older we think she will be ok. If it is too much for her system then we can re-evaluate at that time.
I've filled out a bunch of paperwork from the school. We are doing a second evaluation on June 29th and then we will have our ARD meeting sometime in August after we return from vacation. I feel like I'm back in college. Studying, reading and taking notes. I've made a large binder and I'm finding out everything I possibly can about Inclusion. Our goal is to have Caleigh mainstreamed in a classroom with her typically developing peers. Our philosophy is to start this battle, and yes it is a battle, now in pre-school rather than later down the line. Academically Caleigh needs to be exposed to everything a child that walks and eats by mouth is exposed to. I'm not sure how our school district will take this approach because it is pretty much a rarity in Texas. We'll see, but I'm hoping for the best.
An interesting tid-bit from the documentary "Including Samuel," and I'm para-phrasing here. In the legal case Brown vs. The Board of Education; The Board of Education actually stated that if we let blacks into our schools then what's next? Will we then integrate the disabled too? That was their argument. Having a disability is very segregated even today. Putting our children in a special education classroom at the end of the hall is very segregated. Most of those involved in the Inclusion movement believe that being disabled and fighting for your equal rights is really the final civil rights movement. I agree.