We are well and truly past the halfway point of the first year of Paisley’s big school adventure and it's safe to say that a lot has happened!
At the beginning of the school year Paisley was nervous, excited and terrified at the idea of starting school. “What if I don't make friends?” “What if I'm not good at my school work?” All these anxious questions that she didn't yet have an answer for, but soon would.
As you can tell from previous blogs it has been a bit of a rollercoaster. Paisleys Aniridia has really impacted on her school work, in particular her sight words.
“Sightwords” – The title itself sets a tone for how successful Paisley is going to be during her weekly testing. In the beginning, Paisley would struggle to identify any of her sight words through quick recollection.
Let me tell you, not getting them right week after week really started to take its toll on my poor little girl. She started making up excuses every Wednesday as to why she couldn't go to school, knowing that she would be tested that day.
However, with a little extra help from school and at home, Paisley has improved dramatically as the year has rolled on. Paisley has now found a passion for reading, and the quick recollection of words that used to confuse her doesn't seem so scary anymore, as all she has to do is remember the words from the books she reads to her little sister every night.
Now as for friends, Paisley was fortunate enough to have been placed in a diverse group of children, who have been taught by her teacher and self about her eye condition. They in turn, have played a crucial part in her being able to feel comfortable enough to come out of her shell and grow the confidence to interact with others.
With the little knowledge they have of her condition they would say “Paisley can't see the writing on the board” or “the glare is too bright for her eyes“. These small things have taught Paisley that help can come in small packages too.
Paisley has also been the victim of bullying with children openly saying things like “these red markers are for the blind girl” or “let’s pull the tape off so the blind girl can't see”. Although this is hurtful to Paisley and she may cry, she has learned that her small group of friends are just as comforting as any grown up and know just what to say and do when these incidents occur.
Although Paisley’s big school adventure has had its fair share of ups and downs, she still has a big smile on her face every morning as she walks through the school gates. I guess resilience is what she has really gained this year.
P.s Paisley’s second school disco saw her dress up as Bruno Mars, it was either going to be him or one of the guy's off Bondi Rescue. Who was I to try and change her mind?