I was thinking about the day that my son was born. He looked up toward my face and ,although babies are no table to focus, he looked straight into me as deep as anyone has ever been.
What a beautiful Baby he was, soft, gentle, easy, and full of laughter. How I cherished feeding him and him sleeping on my chest. The way he looked like as if formula was the most incredible substance ever known to man . A little reminder from my ancestors to be happy with what you have.
As he grew his personality thrilled me, warm caring, funny and smart, oh wat, thats me,,lol
He played from sun up to sun down. We regular had checks to check his development and not to sound like forest gump but I had concerns for years about passing on some of my learning difficulties to a child. I did not want a child to have to struggle as I did. My son hit all of his development markers and I felt a genuine since that his mother had given him her brain for numbers
Well as much as it pains me to say it and I know it has been read before but Everything Changed when he turned 3yrs old. He stopped trying to talk, he knee walked, and began to show signs that something was wrong. We were quick to take him to his pediatrician. Who then quickly referred us out to other providers. The dreaded no diagnosis turned into Developmentally Delayed.
His mother and I decided rapidly to pursue getting him treatment. Well SURPRISE Developmental Delay is not a reimbursable diagnosis, ” at least at that time”, So speech Therapy was all out of pocket . Until he got into preprek. We were so relieved to realize that the public school that was assigned to him ,based on geographic location, offered multiple services Speech and Langugauge Therapist, Adaptive physical education, all in a mainstream setting. We were so Happy about it all.
NIGHTMARE ON ORIOLE BEACH RD
We got him Ready for his first day of school, Did that fun school supply shopping thing, bought him great looking little shorts and shirts a brand new pair of shoes and safety scissors. Any of you that have children will identify with how cool an experience it is when you send them to school for the first time or at least that’s how I felt about it. We both bring him to school for orientation and then he steps up to the plate for opening day.
She seemed like such a mature and decent person his teacher impressed us with her patience and gentle guidance, We wanted very much for this to work and for him not grow up as I had,, hating school.
He immediately had problems, freaking Yuck, what kind of Karmic crap was this. He also nearly had to be scraped off us when we dropped him off. We thought well hes just having to adjust and it takes time. Then I began to notice that his teacher had a coldness about her. I have to be very careful with my judgment of teachers it is biased by my own horrible schooling and I an emotional element seems to creep into my view of teachers. I honestly believe that his teacher had this break em in kinda of mentality, probably better explain that one. : )
She felt it was her job and hell who knows maybe it was, to make children and families adjust to what would be the first of many years of schooling. So we suffered through, although I dreaded picking him up or dropping him off. Both situations were difficult and getting more so between my sons not wanting to be there and the brow beating about how had we done this and were we doing that. Sadly it did not seem like guidance it seemed more like a doubt of our parenting skills. As if somehow our parenting skills had somehow played a role in our sons development issues.
” By the way I will talk about this issue in a different post. I have direct experience helping families going through this”
It is a constant struggle to this day with his schooling, Individual Eduction Plans should be called “Probably not gonna get there’s ” and by the time you figure out we are not going to get there the school year is almost over. It’s a drag.
THE YEAR WE BROKE AWAY
This past school year came with that same sense that this would be a good year for him and for us. Well it was neither, it was the most difficult school year I could never have never have imagined the road we were heading down.
We started off the year with a bully, that did not immediately get found out or at least no one at schooled said my son was being picked on. We did however notice that he was really down on himself. which was not a thing that was in keeping with my son in the past. We also noticed more anger from him. We immediately suspected something was going on with him either at home or at school and I began talking to him more than I usually did about his day at school.
He began talking to me about mean people. It was as if his being could not understand someone could be mean to someone else. Eventually these conversations lead to an admission that one of his classmates was being mean to him. So, of course we contacted his teacher with his admission and were told the matter was being looked into. My son began to have dramatic behavioral outbursts at school. We were getting calls everyday about this incident or that incident. We recontacted his teacher and found out that multiple student were having problems with this one classmate, but none of it was happening to our son that they had observed. They would rearrange his seating and positions in lines to move him closer to a teacher or an aide. This seemed like a good answer to us. The very next week my son did something I would have never expected he had an outburst at school in which he threatened to kill himself and scratched his own neck and face. My heart immediately sank, how is it possible for a child his age to feel so bad that he wanted to die. What the HELL was going on at school!
We go to pick him up and are told that he was in danger of a baker act for observation. Horrifying words for any parent to hear. We requested an immediate meeting with the school administration and all teachers and aides working with him. Well one week of waiting turned into to 2. Finally. I had to email our rep on the School Board. The very next Day I get a call from school that we would be meeting in the morning. Wow sweet relief!
We sit down and meet with the principal and his teachers. The principle starts out with some BS statement she had prepared for this meeting without one mention of the Bullying. I asked, ” what about the bullying”, She said ., “what bullying”,. How can they not be aware, we had been in constant contact with his teacher in regards to this. Again WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON here> I meet with people everyday and pride myself on my ability to speak to anyone. I could not speak to the principle at all. She would interupt me and kept mispronouncing my last name as well as denying that bullying had anything to do with our sons behavior. I was floored that I had to reminding her that we have every right to advocate for our son, as she looked at me with contempt in her eye. we make nice long enough to come up with some strategies to help my son and that the family of the child thought to be bullying would be talked to.
We send him back to school 2 days later and it happens again, an outburst in which he says he wants to kill himself and tries to hurt himself. I called the county and suggested that we needed a liaison familiar with children with special needs. I also established private testing for my son and counseling
We all met again and it was a much better meeting his teacher was very involved and the principle was no longer involved as directly. We came up with a plan to do school based testing, to have him observed, to give him a person he could turn to if he was feeling angry and that we would meet with everyone prior to the school year ending.
He IS From Me and I am Pretty Good
The meeting of course got put off till next year, but I learned something very valuable and I kind of feel that a lesson for me was a part of this. I learned that what I bring to my son is of real worth and that I did not have to feel lesser than because of my own education.
My son taught me to love myself again and that his crative loving nature is a part of me through him. I am so proud of him He just finished camp at the local zoo no issues : ) Loved it!
My son knows that I like Documentaries and creating so he made me a present. and It is my honor to present you with his present to me : http://www.cartoonnetwork.com/mixit/watch/music-greatest-jake—s The first part is an unfortunate commercial but his video follows.
I offer my son thanks, Thank you for loving me, Thank you for your kindness, Thank you for sharing your presence with me and Thank you for reminding me of that old voice in my head that says ” Why can’t I ” but most of all Thank you for being the person you are ! I love you with all of my heart and it is because of you that I will somehow make this journey to TED.