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My name is Lara Shpilberg. I have a master's degree in special education and years of working experience here in Israel. Yet, I have never thought it would be necessary to put everything I know to practice with my own child.
At 2001, I gave birth to my second daughter, Margo. She was born extremely premature on the 26thweek, weighed only 770 grams (1.7 Ibs). During her first months, Margo experienced nearly all the typical horrors of severely premature children: a severe hemorrhage in her brain, two whole-body inflammatory states, retinal pathology and almost a complete hearing loss. On repeated occasions she was on the verge of death. At the neonatal intensive care unit, they gently asked: Maybe you should let her go rather than make her live such a miserable life. However, Margo still struggled and we have made a decision to struggle with her.
When we signed out of the hospital three months later, she weighed 2200 grams (4850 Ibs) and her prognosis was very pessimistic. We took home a child with serious hearing problems, cerebral paralysis, no fingers on the left hand (following a prevention of blood flow) and a variety of concerns in dozen other spheres. We almost lost any hope she would be able to: understand, talk, walk, run, read, write, jump, dance, learn and make friends… would be able to live, like everyone else.
Then I started writing- at that time I didn't know it was going to be a book. These notes include many useful methods, funny episodes, thoughts and ideas. My native language is Russian, so I wrote in Russian, It started as an online diary of mother of a problematic child. Since then, it has been more than 10 years.
My wonderful daughter has excellent grades and will go next year to 5th grade in a regular Israeli school. She runs and jumps, dances and sings, avidly reads encyclopedias and fairy tales, speaks two languages and started learning English, tries to play the guitar- with no fingers on one of her hands(!) and is mathematically gifted. Of course we were very lucky, but we have also put a lot of effort into it. All the family raised her, each family member contributed individually. Margo is adored by everyone in the family; she has friends in school and a hundreds of friends around the world- those who have read my notes about her for 10 years.
My experiences of being a special educator and of raising Margo gave birth to the site as2X2.com. On this site I publicly posted, what eventually turned into a book and a story of success. The entire book is published in Russian at http://as2x2.com/content/dnevniki-goshkovoda.
Many times I received requests from parents and specialist from different countries to translate this book to English. This way the book would become available for a bigger audience, including non-Russian speaking parents. Our friends in Russian community helped us to translate some excerpts of the book to English. One can read them at http://eng.as2x2.com/content/learning-playing
"Перевести текст книги на английски непросто, нужно суметь передать детскую речь, - и нашёлся переводчик, готовый взяться за этот труд. Его гонорар 7 тыс долларов, и потребуется ещё 3-4 тысячи, чтобы носитель английского языка отредактировал текст. Если у нас получится собрать эту сумму, английский вариант книги будет опубликован онлайн, в сети, в свободном доступе".
It is not easy to translate such a text; it requires professional translation including many episodes of child's speech. Fortunately a translator was found. Still, this service requires 7000 dollars, and an additional amount of 3000-4000 dollars for the final editing of English text by a native speaker. If we succeed to raise this money, the English text of the book will be published for free online access.