The busyness and the novelty of the new school year has become more of a well orchestrated routine, and Autumn has now rolled in. I am hearing a few less “school is awesome,” and a few more, “can we please home school,” as I had come to expect. Homework is being done, progress reports have made it across my table of things to sign, life has become the thing home-schoolers dread. Monotony.
In so many ways, monotony is exactly what a child craves and needs. I am no schedueler of things, as I said many times before. Things come and things go. The only constant is that somehow, I am standing in the middle of it all.
Last year’s school year was a disaster. I remember that first A.R.D., the teacher coming in, defeated, stating she did not know how she would be able to teach Matthew in her class. She did not know how to do her job. I threw out the ideas every teacher before had thrown out, use manipulatives. We worked out the idea and still had a horrible year, a bullying problem, and we ended up in the home-school situation once again. I do not mind teaching my children, I am just really not properly educated to take on the task. Neither was that former community.
Today, I walked into another A.R.D., in yet another school, and I felt welcome. I felt my concerns were taken seriously. I felt a genuine warmth and concern for my children by the people I leave them in the care of every day, and a genuine positive glimpse into a hopeful future. Not once did I hear an “I cannot.” Not once did I hear a “they cannot.” What I heard was my boys were coming into their own personalities, and growing into regular pre-teenage boys. They have regular pre-teenage peers and regular pre-teenage friends. I heard a teacher tell me that they are struggling but he was going to do his best to keep them up with the class. I heard ideas about futures and career choices and things we had at one time never really considered. I heard my boys no longer need therapies. Not even speech.
We have come so far as a family. It finally feels as if we got somewhere, and we are complete. It finally feels like all the wondering if they would continue melting down and screaming and all of the fits and all of the rocking and self harming, all of that is something we went through to get where we are. Where we are is looking, finally, at a hopeful future.
I am pretty sure I could write all day and words could not express how I feel right now.
Shame on you to the principle who once told me they only hold back children they have hope for, and they had no hope for Matthew based on an I.Q. test. Shame on you to the teacher last year who did not want to put in the effort. They got where they are not because of, but in spite of educators like yourselves who are impediments to the children who are not disabled, but different.
All I can say right now is, I am proud of my boys.
Congratulations, Matt and Sam.