Every day teachers, doctors and society seem to tell me what my daughter cannot do or what she finds hard, or how she is different. 

The list is really long, it’s not as simple as she cannot walk. 

I seem to get report after report each one with something new on it, bad shoulder stability, bad bi-lateral integration, bad perceptual skills, difficult vestibular processing, sensitive to stimuli, sensation avoiding, the list goes on. 

I have been reduced to tears so many times reading reports which are often 6 or 7 pages long telling me what’s wrong and what she’ll never be able to do.

So now when I read reports I keep a list with me, a list of what she can do, because no one will ever write these down for me in a report.

Bella can:

- Crawl, and walk on her knees which means she can independently play at home with the toys she wants to and she can move from room to room on her own. She can also get herself on and off chairs.

- Use a walking frame and steer her own wheelchair when she feels like it!

- Feed herself using her hands or a spoon.

- Communicate with us. She’s very shy and quiet around people but Bella can talk, she will tell jokes and laugh and tell me she loves me.  She tells me when something hurts or feels wrong.

- Tell us when she needs the toilet, yes she needs a lot of help and cannot go independently but she can feel and recognise the sensation of going to the toilet.

- Recognise letters. At four years old Bella recognises all her letter sounds and a few basic words such as ‘mum’ ‘no’ ‘the’. I was told she may never read so I am over the moon at how she is progressing.

- Take her trousers & knickers off when no one is looking – still not sure how she does it but whenever I am in the kitchen cooking dinner I always come back to a trail of clothes that she has discarded. I think I will have to set up a hidden camera!

- Count to 20 (without the number 15 for some reason, she doesn’t like that number)

- Use computers and iPads very well without having to ask how something works.

- Smile, all the time! Bella is a very happy child. She never lets anything get her down – she just gets on with it without moaning or sulking.

She’s pretty inspirational.

It’s so easy as parents for us to worry about what our children cannot do because as a special needs child that is what professionals are looking for.

I think it’s important that we stop and see how far our children have come and what they have achieved over the past year, even if those things seem insignificant to other people or the medical profession.

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