Mia Practicing Writing her Name

First some news. My Streak for Mia is raising awareness about pediatric stroke, raising money for Children’s Hemiplegia and Stroke Association, and giving me a chance to share our story with friends and family and others who can learn from our experiences. All that’s been very rewarding to me. I enjoy writing for a purpose and feel gratitude that my efforts are being recognized in many ways. I was honored to be invited to be a guest blogger for the www.chasa.org blog. Thanks to generous donors including many of my coworkers, my fundraising total is up to $2560 including an anticipated match by my employer. Thank you for reading and for supporting us!

Mia had her weekly session of occupational therapy this morning. I had suggested she put on a sweatshirt. She found one and was working on zipping it all by herself. Then, she asked for her favorite vest which has a zipper that she has completely mastered. I got the vest and another on the same hanger. All of a sudden, Mia appeared beaming because she had zipped the sweatshirt and both vests!

We managed to get out of the house after some typical weekday morning craziness for the 8 am appointment. I hesitate to share all of Mia’s accomplishments with her therapist for reasons that have nothing to do with her therapist and everything to do with how services are determined for children with special needs in Massachusetts. I did show her a video of Mia riding her bike last week. I was wanting to share the pictures of Mia on the monkey bars. And, with Mia’s permission, I wanted to tell her that Mia had zipped all three zippers herself this morning. But, I didn’t want to tell her these things if it would jeopardize Mia’s chances of continuing to receive occupational therapy for another year.

Last week, the therapist said she goes back and forth on what to recommend but she plans to suggest we continue another year. Mia’s pride and mine were too strong not to share this morning so we told the story about the zippers, and we showed pictures and videos of the monkey bar adventures. She had tears in her eyes with joy to see what Mia can do on her own.

They went off together for the half hour therapy session. Last fall, I had advocated to be allowed to join in for the last 10 minutes to see what they were doing and learn some things to do at home but since the Newtown shootings that’s no longer permitted. So, I get a brief update in the school entryway after Mia’s session about what they did. Today, the occupational therapist shared this awesome picture. Mia had tried to write her name and she gets the letters kind of mixed up, upside down, backwards. So, this is a subsequent attempt with dots to help. Proud Mia, proud Mommy!