Tuesday, December 23, 2014

"Special"

"I don't think the worst thing that could happen to me is raising a child with special needs.  I think the worst thing is to raise a child who is cruel to those with special needs."
 
I was lucky enough to be born in a family with a severely disabled sister.  Even though she was physically different I never really saw it.  She was just my sister.  When I was really little she was put into a home.  We would go visit her a lot and being associated with other kids just like my sister gave me a better love for Heavenly Father's special children.  These children were sent to earth to make our lives better.  To help us be grateful for the things they didn't have.

I always thought that my mother must have been a very special woman to have a child like that.  But I never thought that when I had children of my own that I would have ones with special needs.  Yes their needs aren't as noticeable or as severe, but they still have special needs.

When H was beginning to talk we noticed that C wasn't talking the way a 3/4 year old should.  He was right on or above where he was suppose to be with his milestones.  But for some reason he just wasn't getting the talking part.  So we went to the school district assessment center and had him tested.  They played games with him and asked him and us questions about his daily life: can he do this?  does he do that?  does he react this way?  After the tested he qualified for special services with a speech delay.  So we started him off in Preschool.  I was so anxious to be able to start understanding my sweet little boy.  But it took awhile...and taught me a lot of patience.

Within that first school year he started to make progress.  Things that I tried teaching him from home were starting to stick.  So we continued on with the program for another year of Preschool.  When he was tested over Christmas break we learned that he was starting to forget some of his stuff.  So we put him into summer school.  

It was getting time to figure out where we wanted to put him into Kindergarten.  My sister teaches Kindergarten as an amazing charter school in town.  So we got put on the waiting list there.  But during this time we also heard that the school district had a small group class just for kids like him.  I was torn between the two.  After a lot of praying and weighting out the pros and cons we decided to turn down the charter school.  Which was probably the best choice we could make.  He made huge progress.  So much so that he progressed during Christmas break that year and did not qualify for special services during the summer.  They also changed his classification from a speech delay to a learning disability.

He is now currently in a small group 1st-3rd grade class and is starting to READ!!!  He has also started occupational therapy to help with his handwriting (since he insists on writing his letter from the bottom to the top instead of the top to the bottom).  So hopefully he'll continue to make progress.  There is even talk about him tested out of needing to be in a special needs class and going to his normal neighborhood school next year.  He'll still qualify for the special services (i.e. speech therapy, occupational therapy, bus transportation, etc).  He is fully aware of his special needs but is determined to learn as well as he can.

One time while talking to him about his special needs we talked about how his brain just works a little differently then others.  And it was nothing to be ashamed about.  It just means that his brain works a little harder in areas.  And his response was that it was his super power.  That's what made him unique, special and different.  Way to have a positive attitude about something you didn't choose for yourself.  So proud of my amazing son!



" My child is not a statistic, not a number, not a diagnosis, but a person with different abilities taking on a difficult world.  He proves everyday that he's a miracle and that he will never ever give up.  I am his voice and he is my heart."

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