About Me

I am a single mom of three amazing boys!  All three of my sons entered my family through adoption.  All three of my boys have developmental disabilities. My oldest son, Matthew has been diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Bipolar Disorder. David, my middle son, has a genetic condition, he has a duplication on his 15th chromosome which leads to autism like symptoms, seizures and learning challenges. My youngest son, Jacob has learning disabilities. Each of my children bring unique challengs to our family and also bring their own personality and joys to our everyday life!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

IEP week

For those of you who do not know the complete Bloom boy story, I will catch you up before I go ahead with today's blog....all of my boys were adopted, and all of my boys were "typically developing" as far as I was aware at the time of their adoption. It wasn't until M was 15 months old that I realized hmmmmm something is just "off" here. Before then, I was in awe at my "amazing parenting abilities". He happily went to everyone, oohed and ahhed at everyone, was an easy baby etc..... Until he didnt babble, and never went through a "stranger anxiety" phase, he was the perfect baby, and I was happy living life as "the perfect mom".

I figured I had parented him so well that of course he wasnt afraid of people, that was because I did such a great job making his world feel safe. I figured he let anyone hold and comfort him because he was completely and totally secure that I was his mom, and therefore didn't need to act anxious because he wasn't anxious.

At around 15 months I realized there may be a problem and at 18 months he received special ed, speech, OT and PT. However, he was over the age of 3 before my parents, or others close to us recognized or agreed that he may be developing differently than other children. He was over 2 years old before he ever said anything close to mama or mom.....and he has never gone through those "typical" phases all kids go through no matter how amazing their parents are.

So I have always been a mom with my eyes wide open, and I have never missed a problem developmentally for D or M. However, receiving M's draft IEP from school yesterday still hit me like a punch in the stomach.

When my children were in preschool, I knew every step of their development, where they were in relation to their peers, and how they were gaining skills etc.... Now it is harder, I am not in touch with typical 8 year olds, because M has no friends and therefore we have no typical 8 year olds around for me to compare him to. We are around a lot of 5 and 6 year olds, and I am well aware that many of his skills are lower than their skills in different areas. However, being aware, and actually reading the facts on paper are 2 very different things.

M's attention and M's ability to focus are horrendous. He struggles in school across all areas. In some areas this year he is actually functioning lower than he was last year because he has been struggling behaviorally and has lost ground.

I know for the teacher's these things are not surprises. I konw in my heart of hearts that we have plateaud in some areas. However, it will never feel good, it will never be ok for me to read these things, and it will always break my heart.

I know in the upcoming week I will receive a similar report for D. I am more aware of what skills he is missing and where he struggles, but I konw it won't be any easier to read these things on paper in relation to him.

I have to go through the grieving process for the boys I thought I was adopting, and the reality of the boys I have adopted....there are no better boys out there, and absolutely positively these boys belong to me and were meant to be in my family and for that I am so thankful. I just wish their lives were a little easier. I wish there was a recipe book so I knew what would help them to grow as little people.

I wish they played with stuffed animals the way J does, I wish they had told me "no" when they were 3 like J does, I wish life for them was easier. I wish, I wish, I wish, and yet the reality is right there, in black and white on paper by the professionals.

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