Do you have a day etched in your memory? Mine was August 28, 1990. Kate was about 18 months old and we had just gone through a battery of testing because she wasn’t hitting her milestones.
My Mom was with me and we had Sarah in a stroller crammed into a tiny doctor’s office. The doctor told me that the results of their testing showed that Kate may never walk or talk. That Sarah would surpass her and we need to be prepared for what our future is going to look like. I was in a state of shock.
I remember driving down the expressway that stormy afternoon, crying, thinking about what the doctor said and being very angry at him. About that time the news reported that a devastating tornado had just hit Plainfield, IL, only 30 minutes from where we were. I remember feeling like a tornado had hit my family that day also.
When I married Art it was a “two-for” as Justin was 7 when we married. Kate was my first birth child. To say I was naive would be an understatement. However, sometimes being naive is an advantage. When we were told Kate was developmentally delayed, we assumed delayed meant she would catch up. It wasn’t until this appointment that we were told to get prepared for the rocky road. I didn't realize his test results were the truth. Good thing.
After getting over the shock and crying a lot of tears, we decided to prove him wrong. Everything we did for Kate after that was in an effort to allow her to have the best life possible no matter what other people said her limits were. I enrolled her in every kind of therapy I could find available. Speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, hippo therapy, music therapy. Anything and everything I could find. We had signs up all over the house naming objects, we learned sign language so we could communicate with her.
Poor Sarah and soon Patty, were drug around to every specialist I could find who might have an answer as to what we could do to help her achieve what we was told she couldn’t. I can remember driving to Wisconsin to a ladies house to have orthopedics made on her dining room table because I was told she did it the best. We drove down to Peoria to see a doctor who specialized in homeopathic medicine to put Kate on all kinds of supplements.
Never let someone tell you there is a limit to your abilities. I remember thinking a doctor is a person who has more book knowledge than me, but only until I read that book. He doesn’t know Kate, he doesn’t know my family and what were able to do.
I would love to run into this doctor and have him meet Kate now. She participates in Special Olympics, track and field, bowling and bocce ball. This is a video of her getting her medal at this year‘s track and field event.
Yesterday I came out to the dining room to catch Kate asking Google Home what the weather was going to be that day. After Google answered her she said, "Thank you" a number of times, until finally Google answered her with, “You’re welcome.” So I watched my Kate having a conversation with Google, the most powerful search engine in the world.
I’d say we have met our goals.