Mental retardation is a developmental disability that first appears in children under the age of 18. It is defined as an intellectual functioning level (as measured by standard tests for intelligence quotient) that is well below average and significant limitations in daily living skills (adaptive functioning).It took days before I was able to deliver this shocking (although somewhat expected) news to my husband and a few dear friends. I did not have the courage to tell my parents and sisters... they will find out when I post this in Facebook in a while. So here is photo of our little girl's assessment results. The numbers in parentheses represent her "age level" in the different developmental domains. It breaks my heart to say that this is my daughter's future on a scale.
TLO's doctor is still optimistic despite it all. She said that the severity of TLO's condition will need to be assessed in time but NOT for another year. Sometimes, psychologists are too quick to declare "profound intellectual disability" and she said that it looks like "something" is starting in TLO... something that may be worth the wait. Honestly, I don't even know what we are waiting for. I just want TLO to have a happier and comfortable life despite her unique needs.
That being said, we want to take the doctor's recommendations seriously. TLO needs to go to SPED school while going through occupational and speech therapy sessions. With years of juggling funds for TLO's developmental interventions, we have a rough estimate on overall expense for her education and development for one year. P350,000.00
We don't have that money right now. We can work a hundred times harder than we already do but we will not be able to raise this much in the next 18 months. We won't make it to the end of the month even if we sell our internal organs.The government does not exist in the lives of Filipino parents with special needs kids. So really, we can only count on the kindness of friends, family and strangers.
I don't know how to do solicitations so please forgive the wobbly appeal. If you have extra funds to spare, please donate to TLO's Special Adventure Fund. The link accepts donations by credit card but if you don't have a credit card, you may also send your love through my BPI account (see account details on the right tab).
Our dream is to be able to say that your donations will ensure that TLO will be able to speak or sprint her way towards supposedly "age-appropriate" milestones. But we cannot promise anything. We can only hope against hope that a year will do wonders for our little one. More than monetary assistance, your prayers and well wishes are important. Please see us through this special adventure, wherever you are and in any way that you can.
When our financial capacity improves, we commit to return the favor through Operation Smile Philippines* and/or Autism Society Philippines.
*TLO was born with a cleft palate. She went through two cleft repair surgeries at 6 and 9 months old.