However, I do know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I need everyone involved to look past the fact that my child is 100% dependent on another individual for her every need. I instead need them to realize, that although her tiny body is not able to stand and walk and get to the potty or feed herself, or verbally express herself, I need them to see, her little mind knows exactly what she wants. Zoey speaks volumes, in her own way. She lets us know that she just wants to be part of this great big world that surrounds her. She wants to participate in everything little thing that goes on, especially when other children are involved. She needs to, in my opinion, be in the least restrictive environment, that allows her to use her body and her mind, in her own unique and brilliant way.
Last weekend when I was away, Mark took the kids to the zoo in Santa Barbara. There is this little grassy knoll the kids gather at and slide down on pieces of cardboard. Mark said that the boys started sliding down that thing and Zoey wanted out of her stroller immediately. Mark would no sooner put her up at the top of that hill, that she would find her way down in nothing flat and want Mark to carry her back up to do it all over again and again and again. Perhaps I should just bring in these videos. Maybe these are all that needs to be seen as we gather round table. Maybe they need to see these images instead of the wheelchair and the diagnoses and the numbers that place her at a 12-15 month level, at best, on those extremely frustrating and sometimes down right depressing, cognition tests. Maybe they need to see in my child, the face of a little girl, who had defied all the odds and who just wants to soak in and explore all the opportunities that are at her precious finger tips, only if they take the time to bring them to her and her to them. And, if they can decide that Zoey deserves nothing less then their best. ( Sorry about the quality of these. They are from Mark's phone)