Special Olympics 2016 – Part 1

Before I post a zillion pictures of Zack’s awesome Special Olympics day, I wanted to share a few things that I have been struggling with of late.  As you know, Zack has been a bit behind developmentally since birth.  All along his doctors have assured us he would eventually catch up.  I have always been concerned about this and wondered how they could be certain this would happen.  I tried to shake off the unease I felt whenever we were told this and told myself to be more positive.  I wanted it to be true more than anything.

Over the past few weeks, we have been getting some discouraging reports from school. Zack is now even farther behind despite being in school more consistently.  He is having trouble remembering things he learned last year and even more trouble retaining what he is working on this year.

I had a meeting with Zack’s teacher’s on Wednesday morning before the Special Olympics to address some of our concerns.  We received an email outlining the things they are seeing at school on Friday (I asked if they could write things down for us).  My heart has been heavy all weekend as I worked to process this new information.

Jim and I have been in touch with Zack’s Developmental Pediatrician.  She is paying close attention to what is going on with our boy and has recommended a full evaluation by a neuropsychologist at the Kennedy Krieger Institute.  This evaluation will be several hours long and include extensive IQ testing.  We are hoping to get a better sense of what exactly is happening.

My husband is forever the optimist.  He has pointed out that while some of the things we were told are certainly true, there are other things that are positive.  Zack is slowly improving in reading.  Zack is pretty amazing on his computer.  Most importantly, Zack is our son.  No matter what we discover, good or bad, we will continue to advocate for him and work to help him in every way.

OK, enough of the yuck.  Now for the good stuff.  Zack is doing well medically.  He is gaining weight.  His sodium level was amazing last week.  His stoma is not prolapsing.  I am thankful that his medical situation is finally quieting down.  Is it crazy that going three months without a medical issue is quieting down?  It gives us more energy to focus on his current learning situation.

I know you are wondering why I titled this post Special Olympics 2016 when I have not even begun to tell you about Zack’s day.  I honestly did not think I had so much to say. Sometimes writing it down helps me process my thoughts and feelings and I guess I needed to do that today.  I will not keep you waiting for the cuteness any longer.  Here are a few highlights of Zack’s day in pictures.  You are welcome.


Being greeted by cheering fans as he arrived at the stadium.


Zack and his PE teacher/Special Olympics coach.


Taking in the opening ceremony.


The tennis ball throw.


Look at that follow through!

My blog is not liking my pictures tonight and Zack and I have an early morning tomorrow.  I think I will end Part 1 of Zack’s awesome day here.  More cuteness tomorrow and no sadness.  I promise!

Hug your babies!

~ Dawn

3 thoughts on “Special Olympics 2016 – Part 1

  1. Hi Dawn,
    I have been following your blog for a while and continue to be inspired by you and your family, especially Zach. Our family has also been through its share of medical struggles and your post made me remember something we were told by a neuru-developmental psychologist. She pointed out that our daughter had been given anesthesia many times and that it had been shown to affect cognitive abilities and processing when children received it more than their fair share.
    All that being said, sometimes anesthesia is needed and can’t be helped. I can tell you that there is hope and children can catch up, it just takes some longer than others. Jenny has attended a private school with an enrichment center for the past 6 years, and even though it’s expensive, the smaller class sizes and daily individual instruction have made a huge difference. In May she will graduate with a 3.8 GPA and is planning to attend community college in the fall. I can also tell you that with the proper documentation from your doctor, the tuition is tax deductible because it is for a medical learning issue.
    Hopefully you will get more conclusive information from Zach’s doctor and you can see what new mountain you have to climb. I pray for you often and find your family’s story very inspiring. Thank you for sharing the good and the bad with everyone.

  2. Reading your blogs over the past few years, the good, the bad and the hopeful, I have invested my feelings into Zack and his struggles. Seeing the post above should give us all more hope than ever. Can’t wait for him to excel as he grows and searches for the college he wants. I love him without ever even touching him. Take of yourself as well as Zack You are an inspiration to him and all of us out here as well. Hug him for me.

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