by Lavanya Guhan
A challenge, even though very tough
Is a kind of opponent
That eats you up in an instant very greedily
And spits you out as fire bolts
And although this omnipotent creature
Never has an owner
It still can do whatever it wants
To strike you right away
So do not collapse, do not fall
And strive to achieve your best
For there are rewards, like golden eggs,
Hiding in its nest
But there is no after
Just focus on defeating the malevolent dragon
And rewards will come your way
But there is a strategy
Just face your challenge.
“When things are tough, I must face them.
There must not be any past,
I know, for the only way to get a tomorrow
Is to finish today’s challenges.”
Note from Lavanya’s mom:
You have to appreciate the tenacity of our kids — Lavanya started with NACD when she was 3 years old. She was processing one step directions, had a severe convergent strabismus, daily seizures, and she stimmed – a lot – -okay, pretty much all the time if we let her. We have been on program for 10 years now. We are very thankful to have stuck it out through good times and bad, progress, plateaus and regression (yes, we even had those- several times – every flu season when she would be sick and have fluid in her ears, every change in seizure medication meant new side effects, every allergic reaction meant a week of not sleeping and so on).
But through it all, we stuck to our NACD program, and it served us well. Of course it was tough, and yes, we as a family had to give up other things to make it work – – we did not socialize as much, I took to working part time, I cooked on weekends and froze for the week, I prepared materials every Sunday evening (oh, if only they had iPads back then!), my parents moved to this country, my husband passed up on promotions that would involve more travel, we homeschooled part time, we homeschooled full time, we organized our planners like crazy etc. – whatever it took to make it work; and to this day, we have no regrets over any of it. What I would have regretted is not doing our best for her – -and in my mind, that is the program. We have really not looked to anyone else for advice on her development for the past 10 years other than NACD. I remember Bob Doman telling me early on (one of those times when I was feeling particularly discouraged) that as a parent, I have no idea where we would be in 10 years, and he had worked with so many kids over so many years that he could see Lavanya as she would be in 10 years, and not as she was then. He was right.
And now here we are 10 years later. Lavanya is academically at grade level and sequencing 8-10, and more importantly, she is able to do laundry, is starting to cook and handle money, and runs on the treadmill, and reads Harry Potter, has a positive self image – – the mantra in our house is everything is possible with motivation and effort. Yes, she has challenges, and as expressed in her own words – the only way to deal with them is to face them head on and overcome them. And the best time to do it is right now.
I am sharing this poem with all of you in the hopes that it inspires you, as it inspired me when she first showed it to me. We have come a long way, and we have a long way to go, but “By George, I think she’s got it!”
NACD mom and staff