Dana lagged behind other children her age; the doctor called it “delayed milestones.” I hoped that she was just a late bloomer. Starting school was a nightmare for both of us. She was shy and scared and did not participate. She just wanted to be left alone in a corner and talk to herself.
I worked hard with her, trying to catch her up to her peers. Every year teachers would raise concerns and I would work even harder. Eventually she was tested and we discovered her IQ was below normal. I decided I wasn’t going to let a test dictate what my daughter could do. She was behind her peers, but not enough to qualify for special education. One school psychologist even tried to label her as ADD (which she is not) just to get her special education services. I did not appreciate this gesture. I was so afraid of a label defining my child.