It’s not a secret that we have ceased homeschooling our youngest and enrolled him in a local school for special needs children. It took me the better part of a year to come to the point where I was willing to surrender to the truth that the disability and delays present in Max’s learning cycle were just a little more special than my general education degree could handle. Not to mention the ever present disruptive behavior that was getting really old.
Many of you have asked how it’s going, and all I can say is why didn’t we have this conversation last September? The staff is beyond amazing, they know how to respond to all my son’s tricks before he can even whip them out. God bless them. He thinks they are amazing because the 1 on 1 learning environment means he always has someone paying attention to him. And they let him play with the ipad but that’s another matter entirely. So yes, he’s settling in nicely.
So a large part of the adjustment has fallen on my shoulders. Having my youngest in school for five hours a day means five full hours of not having to hold a constant vigil over him, watching him constantly to make sure he stays regulated so he doesn’t turn into a human tornado. It means I have five hours a day to remember who I am aside from a mother to an extremely needy child. Not only can I meet the basic needs of my house and family, I can return to the mindset of raising creatively empowered children.
And with enrolling him in a program for special needs kids I feel like I can finally call myself the mother of a special needs child. It’s been a process to get myself to this point, from a year ago when I realized my 8 year old son couldn’t recognize the pattern to counting no matter what I tried, through the multiple therapists and diagnoses, to the recent weeks when other educational and behavioral professionals are agreeing with me when I say that my child cannot and should not be put in a mainstream classroom.
So now I feel like I can link arms with my fellow Mamas who are also raising special kids. Together we can chuckle about our kids quirks, and the joys of IEP meetings. And together we can be more than special needs Mamas.