Walrilla's Wonderings

WALrus+goRILLA=Walrilla! What's not to love?

04 November, 2006

Daddy Braggin'

Hey, y'all! My daughter was invited by her teachers to participate in UIL(University Interscholastic League) competition! This is awesome news. She will be in the Storytelling competition, which is where they have to describe a story they just heard to the judges. She is a natural at this, and I expect a lot of trophies, although, in my eyes, she is already a champion, and not just because she's Daddy's girl.

You see, my daughter has Williams syndrome, a genetic abnormality, caused by a deletion of the gene Elastin on the seventh chromosome. People are affected in varying degrees by this. Some have mild developmental delays and minor health problems, while others have severe retardation, and possibly severe heart and internal organ problems. Some have almost no health problems. They're recognizable by a uniformity in facial features. What's less understandable is their facility at conversation and in recognition and memory.

Most of these kids can carry on a conversation seemingly well above their years, as long as the topic remains on a non-technical level, and their memory for faces is astounding. What's even more astounding is the proficiency several of these kids show for music. One lady, Gloria Lenhoff, sings with professional Opera companies, sings in 28 languages, and has a repertoire of over 2000 songs. This is not a case of "Aw, poor gal, she's trying so hard, let's give her a break and let her sing on stage", this lady is outstanding. Her voice is classically trained, and purely beautiful. Unfortunately, she cannot even cross the street by herself, and has trouble with even simple arithmetic.

Anyway, getting back to my daughter, she has very few health problems, and relatively minor developmental delays. We have certainly been blessed with only having these minor problems, but it's still a struggle at times. That's why news like this brings such an unequaled feeling of joy, of feeling she is in a place where we never thought she would be able to go. So you'll have to excuse me for bragging a little bit. I've got a good reason.

And a great daughter.



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