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the expert & the soccer player

My daughter has several cognitive and gross motor delays and she’s received remedial services over the past several years. Earlier this month, she went through her 3-year comprehensive review.

The school psychologist and I talked on the phone last week and although she had many lovely things to say about Rada — her personality, her enthusiasm, her verbal intelligence, etc. — the psychologist also brought up what appear to be several pronounced limitations around visio-spacial ability, hand-eye coordination, and extremely weak upper-body muscle tone. Apparently some of these can be ameliorated with continuing OT and PT, but with all the kindness and compassion that she could muster, the psychologist saw clear limitations to Rada’s ability to participate in serious athletics. Hearing this felt like a gate clanging shut for Rada’s future. I listened with tears in my eyes, and kept telling myself that this fabulous daughter had many other talents, passions and skills. A life without athletics would still be a full one.

But the next day on the soccer field as I was sitting watching Rada play, I realized that the gate was in no way shut… in fact it was very much ajar.

Although fully 4 inches shorter than the rest of her team, Rada streaks down the field, opportunistically steals balls from the opposing team, throws lob kicks that completely reverse the ball’s direction, and then stands there only slightly-out-of-breath ready for the next challenge, while team members and fans scream, “Way to go Rada!”

Visio-spatial challenges? Hand-eye coordination?