Mental Health Month (Part 2)

This post will probably be a little shorter, but also with permission. Another face of Anxiety. I mentioned to some of you that I had two 504 meetings last week – here’s the other half of that story. (Apparently writing about our family’s struggles is therapeutic for me. You’re welcome!)

The year 2019 has brought our girl 3 “new” diagnoses. Charlotte has been diagnosed with migraines (she gets some really long ones), she’s been diagnosed with dyslexia (I have personally suspected this her whole life, but I could never get the school to test for it because “she’s doing so well!”), and she has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder (probably because no one but her parents believed she had an actual learning disability).

Charlotte’s struggles with school work are mostly invisible. Her teachers notice her horrible spelling, but she is a hard worker and very intelligent, so she has been able to compensate. When I made a fuss in elementary they did give her reading help in 2nd and 4th grades, but were never willing to test for any issues formally. Charlotte has always HATED having to spell words or read out loud. She always got low scores in reading fluency, but high scores in comprehension and writing (because spelling didn’t matter to her teachers). I always hold my breath when she has to do a cold reading at an audition or rehearsal because her reading often includes a lot of guessing. Copying notes from a board is horrible for her because she can only copy a few letters at a time. We do our best to find her audio books when she has to read something on a deadline. (There are a lot of videos of people reading books on YouTube – it’s actually pretty awesome!) We try to read ahead in scripts as best we can so that she isn’t tripped up by big words. We have actually figured out how to pretty successfully help her help herself through a lot of situations.

And then she took French this year. It turns out, spelling does matter in a foreign language. And being able to read somewhat fluently is also a big deal again. She has spent most of the year with pretty bad anxiety over French class and American History class due to all the reading and notes. And, for the record, she has worked extremely hard and put in hours of studying to try to be successful in her classes. She breaks things down into chunks and does her best to stay in schedule with assignments. She has better study habits than I ever did!

So tonight, we got to celebrate the hard work and determination of this amazing young lady. She not only got an Honor Roll award, she also received the President’s Award for Academic Excellence. We could not be more proud of everything she overcame to get here, and we are so excited to see what high school will hold for her. ❤️❤️❤️

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