The school was bustling as children and adults exchanged greetings while rushing about. Parent-teacher conferences were underway. I arrived at the school with Ella and Henry, 30 minutes early for the first of two meetings.
While we waited, we spent time at the book fair located in the school library. Ella tooled around in her demo e-fix wheelchair. It started as a manual chair, but it is now equipped with a battery pack that transforms it into an electric chair, complete with a joystick.
Ella looked at all of the books on display before choosing one that she and her fellow students read aloud in class. It’s a thick book and Ella was excited to have her own copy to read at home. Henry picked some books as well.
We waited in the fifth-grade common area as Ella and Henry read their new books. Then, Henry’s teacher called us into the room to discuss his performance and social skills. His teacher gave him a glowing report. Henry was present at the meeting, and his teacher’s praise brought a huge smile to his face. We are proud of our boy.
Next, it was Ella’s turn. We made our way to the fourth-grade pod and waited in the common area as the kids picked up their books again. When Ella’s teacher called us in, she hesitated to come into the classroom with me. Her teacher invited her to join us, and we entered the room together.
Ella’s conference began with her academic performance. She is doing well in math and reading, and her writing skills are excellent. I was delighted to see her scores. Her teacher reported that Ella’s behavior is exemplary, and she always has a ready smile.
Ella brought me around her classroom and showed me her desk. It’s higher than the others to accommodate her power wheelchair. She was proud to show me its neat and organized interior. It was wonderful to see where Ella spends most of her day. And as we passed other parents and children in the hallway, many said “hello” to Ella. She seems to be a popular kid.
As a parent — and a teacher — I derive great satisfaction from knowing that my children are doing well at school, both academically and socially.
Note: SMA News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of SMA News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to spinal muscular atrophy.