Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Time to Brag

I had a conference with Paige's 3rd grade teacher on Monday. She has just finished the grade tests and he wanted to share the results.

In reading she is on a 6th grade level!

In math she is on a 4th grade level!

To be honest, the math surprised me. She struggles terribly with math facts. But, from what I understand, this tests focuses on the child understanding the concepts, which she does.

She is an amazing child to be able to focus in school despite her mental health issues, severe sensory issues and the fact that her EEG shows that she is still having continuous spikes. We are both in awe of her spirit!

Bragging feels good!


Anonymous said...

Congratulations! It feels wonderful to have positive test results admidst all the negative scary ones! Go Paige!

Fellow micro-preemie Mom

MommaWriter said...

Awesome! I hope Paige knows to be super proud of herself too. When you're struggling as hard as she is, it's great to see some of that work paying off! Gosh, I'm proud of her and I've never even met you guys. Way to your whole family, because I'm sure it hasn't been a one-person effort!

Stacey (the one with the 'e')

3 good eggs said...

Congratulations to all of you!! I hope most of all Paige is proud of herself. There is nothing like getting great feedback in a subject that you struggle in. Shows hard work and determintion. And of course the intelligence to problem solve!! Way to go Paige!!!


Anonymous said...

Way to go Paige!

This is great to read today. I've been avoiding this blog for a while now because it's far too negative to parents who are struggling day in and day out to think 'on the bright' side about their preemies future; so this was really great to read today.

Congrats Mom - you're doing a great job!

23wktwins'mommy said...

Even though information is important and it's why I visit this blog, (to keep things in my arsenal for the future), it is usually extremely negative with respect to outcomes, and some commenters often portray their lives as miserable with very few examples of what they love about their children. It's so nice to read how proud you are of Paige! Keep bragging, I for one enjoy these types of posts every once in awhile!

C & V said...

Paige and her mom obviously have an indomitable spirit!

May her success motivate Paige more and more . . .

Love and admiration!
Chris and Vic

abby said...

Go Paige!

medrecgal said...

That's awesome! And it certainly deserves a place on this blog along side all the "stuff we worry about". Best wishes for continued success!

Anonymous said...

Yay, Paige!!!


Anne, Eliza Grace's mom said...

You go Paige! You all should be very proud if these accomplishments.

Miracles said...

Way to go Paige!!!!

Laura said...

you deserve to brag and celebrate!
congratulations to Paige for your super, awesome achievements!

Samantha said...

Thats great! I hope she is very proud of herself. She should be. Math as always been a struggle of mine too. lol. And reading on 6th grade level? Thats wonderful. Way to go Paige!

The Preemie Experiment said...

Thanks to all!!

kate said...

Congratulations!!! Brag away! What wonderful news, and how validating!

Anonymous said...

I think its interesting that all the negative ladies have stayed away from commenting. Hmmm I wonder why? Jealous maybe? HH where are you?

Go Paige!

ex-preemie said...

Yay Paige! Keep it up! :)

The Preemie Experiment said...

Anonymous.. HH is away without her computer. This blog is not the only form of communication between others and myself. Just because you don't see a comment here, does not mean they have not sent a private email.

Furthermore, if anyone feels the need to be jealous of my life they need to read the other posts. Yes, the conference was a very high point in Paige's day, but the mental health crap we've been dealing with makes it hard to bring forth those feelings of joy from the good news.

Helen Harrison said...

To anonymous (Oct 1, 9:43) who wondered where I was:

I am just back from my mother-in-law's funeral on the other side of the country.

Right before I left for the airport (without my computer), I dashed off a private email to Stacy with congratulations about her just-posted report on Paige's accomplishments.

I am indeed happy for Paige, and wonder why you think I would/should feel jealous of Stacy, or of any other preemie parent for that matter?

We and our children have all been through our own versions of hell, and I do not envy any of the parents here.

My son also has academic accomplishments of which we are proud. He reads at about the same grade level as Paige, not only in English, but also in French and Spanish. He has mastered 4th grade math. He is a good musician and has many savant skills-- he can tell you the day of the week for any date you give him. I could go on and on...

However, as with Paige, he has serious additional problems that cloud the picture considerably, although he does not have psychiatric problems of the same severity as Paige.

At age 32 years, my son has not progressed beyond the 4th-6th grade academic level, and this is only in highly selected skills.

He lives at home with us and will never live independently. But we would be proud of him and love him dearly whatever his achievements.

All that being said, we greatly regret the suffering and limitations he has endured and continues to endure.

Karin said...

Congratulations! All of Paige's hard work (and yours) is paying off.

Regarding this blog being a whole, I disagree. This blog is BALANCED. It presents the good and the bad, and counters media spin about prematurity. It shows the reality of parenting special needs kids and the resources that aren't available to help.

A child can have challenges AND abilities. Take me for example. I have a gifted level IQ, a BA from Stanford, and I just finished my Masters. I also can't walk or dress myself. (I wasn't premature, but I have CP due to malpractice during my delivery.) Is my outcome good or bad? It's never simple to answer these questions, and we need to look at all sides and all aspects of a person. Paige may well grow up to live on her own, have a job, even go to college. She may do those things while still dealing with physical and mental health issues. Neither makes the other less real or significant.

Perhaps a few readers/posters here regret that their child was born, or that s/he was resuscitated. If so, I would personally find that disturbing. However, there's nothing wrong with grieving the fact that the outcome isn't what you hoped for, or making it known that so many of these kids have problems. We need more research on prematurity and prenatal and neonatal trauma. We need services and programs to help these kids deal with their disabilities, and their parents to deal with the physical, emotional, and financial impact of their kids' needs. We're never going to get those things if the public continues to believe that life after prematurity is a bed of roses. People need to know about what you discuss here, or things will never change for the better.

Helen Harrison said...

To Karen who said: "Perhaps a few readers/posters here regret that their child was born, or that s/he was resuscitated. If so, I would personally find that disturbing."

I am one who regrets that my child was resuscitated and treated aggressively, despite his many "attempts" to die.

What he was put through to "save" him was horrendous -- all (including major surgery) without the benefit of any pain killers whatsoever.

I understand and respect your right to find "disturbing" my perspective on my son's aggressive medical rescue(s). However, I can almost guarantee you, that if you had been there to witness it, and were here to witness the continuation of his medical torments 3 decades later, you would understand.

He is here, however, and we do the best we can to give him the best life possible under the circumstances.

As to more recently born preemies: pain killers are now given to preemies(at least some of them on some occasions), but the pain they must still endure is enough to damage their brains. In addition, it is becoming apparent that many of the painkillers that work with older individuals do not work with preemies and may, in fact, also cause brain damage.

So despite the fact that practitioners (at least *some* of them) now acknowledge that prematurely-born infants feel pain and are damaged by it, there is relatively little that can be done, even today, to alleviate it safely and effectively.

This has to be factored in to the treatment equation. But parents, in my view, are rarely, if ever, given the information they need to make truly informed choices about resuscitation and treatment of critically ill newborns.

Again, if you were seeing this from my perspective (as both a professional and a parent) you might feel differently and less disturbed about parents who opt (or would opt) for comfort care at birth in place of aggressive resuscitation and treatment of their preemies.