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An Unexpected Path: Walk the line

Daria Mochan essays, Special Needs

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There are times I’ve felt that Gia doesn’t fit in anywhere. It would seem that she is straddling a line with her feet in two separate worlds. The world full of those who are very differently-abled and the world of the typical.

Although she was considered medically fragile for half of her life and unable to orally eat, she has only had one late night trip to the ER. She does not carry a membership card to the life-flight club. (Intensely knocking on wood right now.) We have narrowed down her regularly scheduled pediatric specialists from six to three. At our last pediatrician visit the doctor informed us, unless something comes up, she would see Gia at her wellness checkup. She is, in my humble opinion, doing quite well.

Yet, she isn’t typically developing either. Sure, she can sometimes pass for a ‘normal’ kid to the untrained eyes of grocery store employees or to facebook ‘friends’ who view her photos. But her absence of verbal communication, hearing loss, delayed fine and gross motor skills make it quite clear she doesn’t belong in this category either.

This line straddling has, at times, made me quite conflicted. I’ve felt guilty and sad depending on what company I keep. Guilty because Gia is doing so well, sad because she isn’t.

Life is just not this simple but, if we were all living in black and white, the line dividing the world of the very differently-abled and the very typical is a tremendously thick, gray line. Some children just have their toes in the gray, others hop on and off, and still some skip right on over to one side.

And Gia is right on it, walking that line in a snazzy, bright, green gait-trainer.

About the Author

Daria Mochan

Daria Mochan. Wife. Sister. Daughter. Pet Lover. Biologist. Photographer. She answers to many titles, but her favorite is Mommy. Daria spends most of her time as a mom to 2 wonderful girls, each very special in their own way. Follow Daria's blog, .

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