A lot has happened in the 4 years since I wrote Heather's bio. She is
now 16 years old and has the attitude to prove it! LOL
She started High School in the fall of 2000 and it turned into a disaster. The teacher and program were less than desirable to say the least. He
never bothered to even read her IEP. I ended up pulling her from the program and
was in the process of finding a private program the school district was going to pay for when the Special Ed Principal (who I really like) and I put
our heads together and she pulled some strings and got her into the post secondary program. Heather has never been an "academic learner".
Since she is so involved with her CP, dystonia and is legally blind educating her has
made us be quite creative in the past years. The Post Secondary program is
a life skills/community based program. However it's not your average life
skills program. She is out in the community 3-4 days of the week.
Her and the other students have real, paying jobs in the community. I have always
had very strong opinions about Heather being "mainstreamed".
When she was in the lower grades she was in the regular classroom as much as possible.
However as she got older and in High School I felt it was less beneficial (because she's NOT an academic learner) for her to be mainstreamed in a
classroom with her peers. I felt it was much more important for her to be
mainstreamed into her community. I feel it is more important for the people
at her local Bank, grocery store, pharmacy, library etc to know her than it
is for the kids at school that she would not have much contact with after graduation. It has been one of the best decision's we've made. The
people at our grocery store know how she communicates (with a digivox), how to help
her. Our bank has a person assigned for her to go in and can use her ATM
card to withdraw money from her account. The pharmacy knows her name and what meds she takes without having to tell them and the librarian
knows her and what type of books she likes to listen to on tape. She loves her
independence not to mention getting a paycheck each month!
Health wise Heather is doing OK. Wintertime is really difficult for her as
she has a lot of bone pain in the cold due to her ostotomy when they cut the
bone. As she's gotten older her dystonia has gotten worse and causes more pain. We are currently waiting for a call for her pre-op appointment to
have the Pump implanted. She had a trial 4 years ago that didn't go well
so we opted to try different oral meds. She's pretty much exhausted that avenue now and she had another trial this past October and it went great.
So we're just waiting for the call.
Heather is still the happy go lucky teenager she's always been with the exception of being a "teenager" sometimes. I asked her the other
day when she was hormonal if she could, would she stomp thru the house muttering
under her breath calling me names and slamming doors and she said YES! LOL
She still loves the color purple, shopping, yakking on the phone, listening
to CD's, going to concerts and torturing her little brother.