Thursday, 16 May 2013

The sweet and the sour

Today was a kind of Yin and Yang day. It included both the sweet and the sour.

The sweet:
This morning I dropped Sunny off at kindergarten after our PT session. His teacher found a few minutes to talk to me since there were only two kids (including Sunny) and an intern was there to look after them. She told me that they had been to a nearby playground with the kids on Tuesday and she marvelled about how impressed she was to see how good Sunny had been at "boarding" the climbing tower on the playground. She explained how steady he was while he climbed the flat-angled ladder, how securely he used the slide, how he was able to use the climbing net with only little help, how he explored the tower by himself and how he mastered the long, vertical ladder leading up to the platform with no help at all. She told me that when he uses the wall bars in kindergarten he usually climbs up and then just lets go, trusting that there will be someone to catch his fall. On the playground he was much more focused and concentrated, exploring while being fully able to move around on the climbing tower all by himself (with the exception of the climbing net which was too difficult for him to do it alone). She was so impressed with the great progress he has made and I was so happy about all this.

The sour:
Within the last weeks there was an examination of Sunny with regard to his transition to school. Some of you already know that I have a hard time accepting that he already has to attend school after the summer holidays. But there is nothing we can do to prevent that so we just have to deal with the situation. A teacher went to kindergarten several times and assessed him. This is a regular process in order to find the right school for each child. We had a meeting with her after the evaluation process and today the report of our meeting came in the mail. As usual, it was hard to read about all the difficulties Sunny faces in various areas of his life written in black and white. Being told is one thing, reading it is another. It is always much more difficult for me.

But what really got to me was the handwritten note of the teacher that we also need to file an application for a personal aide for school. She wrote that she had forgotten to talk to us about that during our meeting and that she would call me today or tomorrow. Sunny will be attending a special education class with maximum six children. There will be two teachers and even an intern for a certain amount of hours. And Sunny will need a personal aide for himself nevertheless? I just cannot believe that. I read her note and asked myself whether I live in a parallel universe or whether I wear blinders the size of garage doors. I never spent a single thought on the fact that Sunny might need an aide for himself. Is he really that dependent and needy that even two teachers and an intern cannot fulfil his needs without additional help? Until today this thought was totally devious for me.

I cannot wrap my head around it and, once again, I questioned myself what other people really see when they see him. Because obviously it is totally different from what I see. I know he needs a lot of help but it was not clear to me to what extent. That probably sounds totally weird because I care for him every day and you should think I know the facts but since he is an only child I have no comparison on what is really "normal". And, therefore, I am of course well aware that I have to do more for him than for a NT child his age but I always feel like it is not that much more. This is my normal and, therefore, I do not perceive it to be extraordinary. But maybe it is.    

I thought about all that since I read the teacher's letter this afternoon. Tonight, after a long and good telephone conversation with one of my best friends who has a SN child as well I finally came to the conclusion that I do not want to know what strangers see when they see him anymore because it would probably hurt too much.


  1. Yes, it will hurt if you learn how other people see your beautiful boy. But it will make you a better warrior mom. Because you will know where you have to battle.

    As far as an aide. Boo has one, well 3 they rotate. It is for her saftey (she escapes) but it also makes sure that she is involved in the class. They do not take the place of her peers. However they make sure that Boo is involved in the class, rather then observing.

    ALthough it is funny when you get the aide's artwork that you know your daughter couldn't possibly have done.

    At the end of the day you have to do what is comfortable for you and your Husband. But a piece of your advice back at you? remember the sweet and have it eliminate the sour.

    1. We decided to apply for the aide. It was not even the fact that he needs an aide what struck me most, it was the fact that I did not even give it a single thought. It just came so surprisingly. But I guess it totally makes sense.

  2. So sorry, Joy. I imagine this would feel awful. I hate it when people underestimate Silas. On the flip side, maybe having his very own aid will help Sunny enjoy school even more. Here's to hoping for an amazing individual to come along who's just right for the job. But I'm sorry for the heartache the whole process is causing. :(

    1. Thank you so much Alana for your kind words, I really appreciate them!


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