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Music Class with Gwendolyn

January 30, 2009 by Victoria Strong
Today was the first day of our speech therapy music class that we recently enrolled in through Tri-Counties Regional Center (a State program for people with disabilities). And while Gwendolyn enjoyed it, it was a bit emotional for me. We will keep going, as I will do anything for Gwendolyn, but it was difficult being so "different". I was also emotional from the moment I walked in because taking Gwendolyn to classes is something I always just assumed I would get to do with my child -- music classes, dance, gym...whatever they were interested in. But this is the first time we have been allowed to go to any classes by doctors and I was still on eggshells because of germs as the doctors are still concerned about the time of year. I had to bring my own instruments and wipe my hands and Gwendolyn's throughout the class with an antibacterial wipe. I had to keep Gwendolyn in her stroller because of BiPAP and her need to be in certain positions, so instead of running and jumping around the room I pushed Gwendolyn around with me trying to be as animated as possible. I have to suction her mid-song because of her swallow. I can't sit Gwendolyn in my lap because she can't sit up. She can't clap her hands, so I do it for her. I don't usually focus on what Gwendolyn can not do, but I think it hit me a bit today because I expected children with special needs. And while I am sure everyone in the class benefits from the extra language practice, Gwendolyn's needs are by far the most "special". The good news is she did not care in the slightest. She loved every minute -- especially when her name was sung by the other children. It is a great class with fantastic teachers. It was just a bit emotional for me. But I will get over it and I know each class will become easier as everyone learns more about Gwendolyn and I navigate this new emotional territory for myself.

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