1999

Erica was happy almost all of the time.

Erica went to school 5 days a week for approximately 6.5 hours a day at Ridge School in Baltimore County, MD.  Ridge is a special school for children with very severe disabilities. She used 5 different pieces of equipment for approximately 20 minutes on each.  The wedge to help her with extension; the prone stander for weight bearing; the side lyer for more extension; the gait trainer to do more weight bearing and walking and the advancement chair for learning to support her upper body

There was music in school. Erica liked the drums best. She participated in a "gym class" and went on numerous outings in the community including cultural events. In April 1999 her class went to see the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.  Erica really liked music. She even tried to sing along with her daddy's barbershop chorus.

We were blessed with a great educational team. We never had to fight for Erica's educational needs, her team is happy to provide all they could for her. One IEP meeting was so well prepared for that Michelle did not have anything to add. The teachers, aides, principle, nurses and therapists seemed like a natural extension of our family -we guess this was part of Erica's magic.

We talked to Erica just like we did with our other kids. She was told not walk away from us when we were out (even though she obviously could not).

Note: If you ever forgot to put on the brakes of the wheelchair at, say the top of a hill, Erica wouldn't hesitate to "run away," very quickly, down the hill. This actually happened at Sesame Place near Philadelphia, PA. Luckily a nice man caught her half down the hill and exclaimed "Does this kid belong you?" A good day indeed!