I first laid eyes on Mt. Pleasant school in September of 1981. We were staying at my grandparents house while waiting for our new home on Lincoln street was being finished. I wore some crazy outfit that included a skirt, purple tights and brown shoes. Apparently I had never heard of black flats at that time. My older sister Laurie was starting school at Nathaniel Morton down the street and walked me to the entrance of the school. When we were growing up, Laurie was my safety net. If I was scared, as long as she was in the vicinity I would be ok. This time she was headed down the hill and to the right without me.
I met some incredible people at that school. Some of my closest friends I met in those polished hardwood hallways. When Liz went to preschool there I was over the moon that she too was walking the same creaky floorboards I once walked on. She also met friends who are still her friends today. Liz was a peer, a student who served as a role model for other students with special needs. Mt. Pleasant is an extension of Early Intervention and fills the gap where EI ends at age 3 and kindergarten. There are physical therapists, speech therapists, an on-site nurse, and developmental programs that enrich all the students.
Adeline was also a peer and graduated recently. Some of the parents told me what an incredible peer she was and a great friend to their autistic son. A few of the teachers mentioned that they would miss her bright, enthusiastic personality this fall. I am so thankful that she was able to go there.
Today we had the second half of Isabelle’s evaluation for services at Mt. Pleasant. This meeting would decide what plan we would be taking for her in the fall. She was registered as a peer but because of her condition and her services through EI she would need this evaluation. The week prior she did some play with the physical therapist while we talked about her medical history with the school nurse. Today we reviewed the results of the PT evaluation.
“Isabelle was a joy to evaluate. She did very well with independent gross motor play as well as following directions and reciprocally playing. Isabelle participated in a 45 minute evaluation without any sign of fatigue. I was pleasantly surprised at her go-get attitude.”
The evaluation went on to say that she is on point with every expectation for a preschooler. She has an age appropriate gait and run. She had no difficulty in standing up and can jump with two feet. She can jump 5 times consecutively without falling. She can do all of the things an almost three year old with a healthy heart can do.
When we were first told about hypoplastic left heart syndrome, we were not sure what her future would be. Reading each line of this report this morning drew tears from my heart and from those worries I had from three years ago. It was decided that she would be a peer at risk- which means she would need a little extra monitoring because of her condition but not because of developmental delays. Mind blowing when you think back to August of 2012 and seeing her hooked up to a wall of IVs and machines.
I don’t usually post about Isabelle’s development out of respect for my fellow mamas whose children still struggle with these tasks or who are suffering on the cardiac floors as I type this. Izzie is remarkable and I wish all of my mamas had the same joyous outcome we have been blessed with. I will go out on a limb here and say that to me, it is a combination of incredible care at Boston Children’s, a surgeon who did three perfect repairs allowing her to get maximum oxygen to where she needed it from day one, and early intervention. And it’s the result of educating ourselves and connecting with the cardiac community. I would not have known to ask the questions I needed to ask or seek out the services we needed without other heart families experiences. Her success today is our success. I am so grateful for such an incredible little girls.