Friday, December 7, 2012

I just want the best for my son

 
I spent a large chuck of my youth in a special education classroom setting. I was diagnosed with A.D.D. at a very young age. By the time I was in second grade I was placed in a class with other students who had a variety of disabilities, some more serious than others. What I wrestled with more than anything was taking ideas or thoughts and putting them on paper. The room was about eight students and two teachers. I desperately needed the added attention and I thrived because of it. Some of the most influential people I have met were the teachers who helped me believe in myself at a very crucial stage in my life.

All the same, being in a separate class and riding a different bus than the other kids was an isolating feeling. I've heard enough "short bus" jokes to last three lifetimes. To this day the overuse of the R-word bothers me. The part that bugged me more than anything was everyone, including the students with the largest disabilities, knew they were being teased.

Something I have thought about for years leading up to becoming a parent is what my child's life will be like. On that fateful morning in May of 2010, I became a father to the most beautiful little boy. He was so frail and tiny. Despite my anxiety about his well being, he was stable and in the hands of some amazing doctors and nurses. At that time my mindset was to make it through the day. Pray for progress and make it though the day.

Jayden has come so far since those days. But I have and continue to spend a lot of nights contemplating what his future will be like. We were told early on that delays were a possibility. We have had Jayden enrolled in Early Intervention since he turned two. He is making strides, undoubtedly. But it's become evident that when it comes time to enroll Jayden in preschool and beyond, he will likely need a small classroom setting, at least to begin. I know in my heart and mind that such a setting will benefit him immensely, but I hope he won't struggle with the same feelings of isolation as I did.

I just want the best for my son

2 comments:

  1. I'm a special education teacher and new mother to 6 month old former 28 week twins. I understand those feelings you felt as a child as I see the same in some of the students in my classroom. I feel it is my job as their advocate to make not only my classroom but the whole school a safe place for them. However, I know it isn't, sometimes even because of things other teachers say. It kills me, and now I have the other perspective of being the mother of 2 babies in early intervention. I don't know what life will bring for them, but I can be damn sure that I will fight so they don't have to have those same feelings as you.

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  2. Just behind recognizing the feelings and concerns as thoughts that have gone through my mind, the next part of your post that struck me is you, a blogger...a very good writer, admitting that you struggled with putting thoughts on paper. While the main message is not lost on me, I'm also inspired by the challenges you have over come, Joel. Really great post.

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