Wednesday, January 7, 2009
When we brought Anya home in '02, one of the first things I did was call in the Early Intervention folks. We knew there would be significant delays and we wanted to get her some help as soon as possible.
The lady came over to the house, visited with Anya (and Nick) and promptly told us what we already knew...Anya had a significant vocabulary delay.
'Ummmm....she just came home from Russia,' we said.
'That doesn't matter,' she insisted. 'She still qualifies for some extra help.'
So...we got her that help. Every week for the last six years (except during the summer, on vacations and for about a year when Kansas wouldn't recognize her IEP), Anya has been getting help with her vocabulary.
Every week she worked on learning new words, deciphering their meaning and committing them to memory.
Today, I got a call from Anya's speech teacher. It is time for the three year review of her Individual Education Plan (IEP) and so she's been testing Anya over the last couple of days. Anya has two things on her IEP. One is speech. We're still working on a little bit of pronunciation...although she's come along way.
The other thing is language.
But not any more.
According to Mrs. M~, Anya blew her vocabulary test out of the water. 'There is no way this child qualifies for language assistance any more. She probably hasn't qualified for some time. She did great!'
Anya has come such a long way in the six years since we brought her home. And in my mind, language was the one last hurdle. The last visible 'leftover' from her days in the orphanage.
Now, six years after walking out of the babyhouse in Syktyvkar, Russia, Anya has finally shaken off the last bit of orphanage.
She's moved beyond it.
Its in her past now.
She's no longer constrained by what happened to her there.
Sure there may be little hidden issues - things we're not seeing right now that may pop up (there's still the possibility of Auditory Processing issues) but for us language was a biggie.
I can now honestly say, Anya knows English as well, if not better, than the other kids in her second grade class.
And that feels awesome!