Our daughter, Stevanne (Stevie) Marie, is the light of our world. We cannot imagine our lives without her.
Stevie was born seemingly okay, but then, when she was about six months old, we noticed that she seemed behind in her development. Like any concerned parent, we took her to the doctor: the doctor reassured us that she was okay; nothing was wrong.
We didn't believe it for a second. We took her to a second doctor. After running some tests (at our insistance), he told us as gently as he could that our daughter had been born with brain damage. Because of this, she would be mentally disabled, but he felt that she would be able to learn (at her own pace, of course).
We were devastated. The world we had imagined came crashing down around us. We were the parents of a child who had special needs. We had so many dreams for her: now they seemed highly unreachable.
Once we got over our grief and shock, we became determined to help our daughter succeed in life. We enrolled her in a school program that would allow inclusion for her, so she could be around kids who were "normal"; and the kids, in kind, would learn about acceptance and tolerance of the disabled. It worked out great. Stevie soon had a circle of friends, and they loved and adored her.
Stevie learned to walk on her own at the age of five. She mastered toilet training at the age of seven: otherwise, she would have never entered school. She entered school two years later than planned, but by God, she did it, and we were extremely proud of her!
Stevie is now sixteen. She functions at the level of a first grader. She loves looking at picture books and is finally learning to read and write her name and numbers. She continues to be mainstreamed in a regular classroom setting (she has teachers who work one-on-one with her so she can learn at a pace that's best for her). Stevie loves school; she makes A's and B's in all of her classes.
Besides school, Stevie loves to watch tv (Bugs Bunny and Snoopy and the Peanuts gang are her favorites; she also loves American Idol and America's Got Talent), sing, play with her toys, hang out with her friends from school and go to the mall every Saturday if it's not raining, go to church, read her picture books, draw, and dance. Stevie is a very active, happy young lady.
Well, I have to go: Stevie has to be picked up from school. She had after-school activities today; she has them three times a week (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays). I then have to get home in time to fix dinner before Dennis (my husband) comes home from work. I hope you enjoyed reading about our daughter; she's certainly special to us in more ways than one!