A Special Little Girl
My name is Jamie Moody and I am the proud mother of a very special little girl. I would like to take a few minutes to share her story, in hopes that it will be inspiring to others who face similar challenges.
My daughter’s name is Kaydence and she is 10 years old. During her life she has faced many more obstacles than the average person faces in their entire life. Kaydence’s has a wide range of health and developmental challenges including Autism, Sensory processing disorder, chronic ear infections (resulting in several surgeries) and severe allergies. At age 4 Kaydence was also diagnosed with Epilepsy.
As most of you reading this probably know, the epilepsy diagnosis started a whole new adventure for Kaydence and our family. While having a diagnosis was helpful and gave explanation for her symptoms, the journey was just beginning with testing and finding the right medications to help her.
At our very first neurology appointment we were given an overwhelming list of things not to do or to avoid like climbing on the playground and watching movies with flashing lights, for a 4 year old this leaves you with a very small list of things that are fun and also safe to do.
Kaydence began taking Ballet lessons when she was 3 years old, after receiving this life-altering diagnosis, we were determined to do whatever was needed to make it possible for her to continue dancing, because she enjoyed it so much. We balanced school, our jobs doctor appointments and testing, Occupational, speech and physical therapy while also continuing weekly dance lessons (This would not have all been possible without amazing grandparents to help). Kaydence not only stuck with Ballet, but over the next couple of years added several other types of dance classes to her schedule as less therapy visits were needed and before we knew it we were at the dance studio 4 days a week!
There were times where Kaydence suffered from terrible medication side effects and every day symptoms of her epilepsy, but this did not stop her from wanting to participate in dance. We continued to support Kaydence in her dancing and at age 8 she also began dancing in the magnet program at her elementary school. At this time Kaydence had made up her mind that she wanted to go to a school of the arts when it was time to transition to middle school.
Kaydence set this goal and continued to work hard in her dance classes. In January of this year Kaydence faced a difficult audition against hundreds of other students for a spot at LaVilla School of the arts. I am proud to say that all of her hard work has paid off and she was accepted!
We are extremely proud of her for her determination, and hard work. I wanted to share her story because children with disabilities are too often told that they can’t do things. Parents, teachers and other loved ones often hold them back out of fear, but they don’t have to!!! These amazing kids are capable of so much more than we can imagine. I believe they can do anything they put their mind to with the love and support of their family.
To any parents of children who are facing the uncertainty that comes with an epilepsy diagnosis, focus on the positive and do not dwell on the things they cannot do! Encourage them to be who they are and not to let epilepsy hold them back. Different is not a bad thing, it just means they are more interesting!