This Friday morning, Layla will have another appointment. It is the opinion of her neurologist, her primary care doctor, her occupational therapist, her teacher, and Kevin & myself, that there is something more going on than her sensory issues. While she has made worlds of progress with self regulating when dealing with sensory stimuli and she is not toe walking as often as she was before, she has continued to struggle with her compulsions, her focus, and her ability to retain/explain information in an age appropriate manner. She memorizes things fairly well, but critical thinking and drawing conclusions from facts is very, very difficult for her. While she is eager to follow the rules and participate in school, she is very behind and is having a hard time with her work.
We need prayers! Kevin and I need guidance. We want to help her reach her full potential, but there are moments that we feel incredibly ill equipped. Please pray that this appointment gives us the answers we need and that we are able to get the school to accommodate her needs. Pray that her medical team is open to us not wanting to medicate her before exhausting all other options. I know the natural route we are wanting to take is not always well received and I don’t want every appointment to be a struggle. Pray for Layla. She gets discouraged and it breaks my heart.
As the kids get older, people are starting to compare Layla with Bryson & Jordyn and that also breaks my heart. For example, the kids had an appointment with the dentist last month. Bryson & Jordyn breezed through their appointments. They understood everything that was being asked of them, they cooperated and they were done. Layla had a much harder time understanding what was being asked of her. She then had a hard time dealing with all the sensory stimulation going on between hands being in her mouth and lights being in her face. She was pleasant the whole time, but still not cooperating well or processing instructions. The hygienist grew frustrated. At first she started sighing after she had to repeat herself over and over. Then she made comments like “I’m going to have nightmares about this tonight Layla,” and then finally saying “Your brother and sister did all of this with no problems and they are younger than you!” And I wanted to scream because I was so frustrated for Layla who was trying her best, whether age appropriate or not. I wanted to share with the hygienist about Layla’s struggles but I also didn’t want to make Layla feel uncomfortable. I also didn’t want to speak out of anger. So I simply looked at her calmly and said “Layla is doing her best right now.” This is not the first time we’ve encountered the “why can’t you just do it like your brother and sister did?” comments from outsiders and it rips me up inside every single time.
I don’t want her to feel different and I don’t want her to be compared to anyone. I look her in the eyes and I say to her often (even though she doesn’t understand me yet), “Layla, you don’t have ANYBODY’S shoes to fill but your own. Be yourself. Do your best. Work hard. That’s all we ask.” And I mean that with my whole heart. I wish I could get everyone else to see it that way, too. I hope to better model to her that failure is never failure as long as she has tried her very best. I hope to help her grasp that her self-worth and self-confidence can be found in the fact that she was created by a perfect God for a specific purpose and He doesn’t make mistakes. And I hope that people will see her for her passion, her love for life, her energy and her joy rather than her compulsions, her struggles, her inability to sit still. She is such a treasure and it is such a privilege to have her as a daughter. I’m thankful for the opportunity to help her walk out this life that God has given her.
Until the next blog…be blessed!