I have just been recently reminded that horrible, horrible things can happen. A friend of mine just lost her son to cancer. He was an amazing, amazing little boy with a contagious laugh. When Myles smiled the world around him smiled.
Given this reminder, one would think that I would understand the importance of being happy with what I have. However, over the course of the past week I have been unable to shake my frustration and pure exhaustion. Jacob has completed an evaluation with a respected educational psychologist and her recommendation is that he be considered for a cotaught classroom for kindergarten. There is not an obvious explanation except for ADHD as to why Jacob does not appear to be able to learn basic prek concepts such as letter recognition, number recognition, letter sounds, and introductory math concepts, however, Jacob is now five and a half and these basic concepts are just not clicking for him. He is still struggling to count past 13 and his ability to write his name fluctuates day to day.
I feel overwhelmed with the responsibility for monitoring the education of these 3 children. I feel left out and like I can't find a group of friends where we belong. I feel sad because I just wanted one of my children to not need so much extra support. I know that speech and OT are not a big deal, but once we enter the arena of special education it means that life won't be easy for Jacob. It means that understanding and learning will always be harder than it needs to be.
I think I am grieving the children I "could have had". I look at my family and see the children that are created by birth by my brothers, cousins, etc....and I see the children I could have genetically had. The children who are at the top of their class, for whom learning comes easy. Sure there are other problems, no one raises children without problems, but the problems are "typical" childhood problems. There is something about parenting a child who is a natural reader, just like their mom, or a fabulous mathematician, just like their dad, that right now I am wishing for.
I know that I will get it back together, and I will fight the good fight. Right now, though it all just seems like a lot. The summer is ticking away, and I still have so much to do.
1. Matthew is starting at a new school, in a new program with so much for me to learn. I am nervous, but excited, but unsure of how being part of a BOCES program rather than an in district student works.
2. David achieved almost none of the goals on his IEP last year. I have to meet with the school to figure out what went wrong, how we can fix this years IEP so it is more appropriate and then monitor him more closely. David has so much potential, but it has not yet been unlocked. I need the district to help us unlock his learning style so that we can make sure we maximize his potential this year.
3. For Jacob, it is about ensuring that he is in the right classroom and monitored so that we decrease his frustration and increase his focus. His body doesnt seem to do what his brain tells it which makes writing hard. It seems like he needs a lot of extra effort to learn, but most 5 year old boys don't want to put forth extra effort.
While I am juggling all of this, I am also doing all that needs to be done at work. It is just an awful lot with a ticking deadline looming.
I know that the fact that I can juggle all of these things is the ultimate gift, I am certainly thankful to be trusted to raise these 3 boys, but at times I get overwhelmed and desire one aspect of parenting to be easier or more typical at least.
- 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!