Tuesday, April 19, 2011
I know that A is not mentally challenged. He's not "retarded" or "disabled" in the normal sense of the word, but for now, that's what he falls under. He's in a Special Education Class at Head Start. The speech therapist thinks he might have a condition known as Verbal Apraxia. It's where the mind doesn't connect with the mouth and makes the mouth muscles move to form words. How this happened, we do not know. A was never abused, never had any major falls or hits on the head, never been in any type of situation where damage to his brain might have occurred. He was a late gestation preemie, but never lacked oxygen at any time, never had to be vented or on O2 prongs.
To say I'm not sad would be a total lie. I never wanted either one of my children to struggle or suffer, and even though the word Special Education is thrown out there for A..it doesn't mean much really. It's kind of a catch all for this state and for any child that needs services of any type of therapy. But we might be looking at years of therapy for A. That makes me sad. I don't want him to be made fun of. I don't want him to think he's less of a child or stupid or doesn't deserve the same respect as others because of this title.
A is so smart. His comprehension is remarkable, he learns quickly and loves to please people and help others. The only thing wrong is that he cannot talk. I never thought we'd ever be in a situation where one of our children would be labeled as "special needs". I'm not trying to put other children down who have special needs, this is just me trying to accept the fact that A is going to need these services for a while.
I really don't know what to think. I feel that yes, he does need Speech Therapy, but I don't feel that he should be in a class with children who are severely mentally and physically disabled. How is he going to get challenged if others in his class can't mentally go where A goes? Of course, I can also do things at home, which I plan on implementing a lot of new things at the suggestions of the Speech Therapist. He's going to be going to just Speech Therapy at our local hospital this summer, and the rejoining the class at Head Start this August. I know we can adjust his IEP, but I just hope they understand our concerns. We don't want A slowed down because the kids in his class may be slower, mentally, than he is. That's pretty much the gist of it. I know it sounds like I'm being harsh to the other children, but I'm not. I just want what is best for my son. He may not be able to talk, but he can do a SLEW of other things, things that he is right on target for his age.
New topic. I cried last Friday night because I knew A would be going to Head Start that following Monday. J just told me it would be ok..don't cry..he's going to do wonderful. Well DUH, I know that! And a few of my friends like to think I'm silly and tend to tease me a little and some even say that he's all grown up, time for him to move on, quit having such a hold on him. But what I can't make them understand is that this is my last baby. When S started Pre-K and Kindergarten, I didn't cry because I still had A to come home to and take care of. My days still revolved around a little kid. But, now that A is going all week, 3 hours a day, I'm finding it hard to fill those 3 hours with something. So yeah..I did cry..and I'm not ashamed to feel that my house is now empty for more hours than it was before and I'm a little lost and heartbroken over it. But, for the record, when I was taking A to school, and J gave him a hug and said have fun, J walked away with a red face and tears in his eyes as well. Also, J sleeps during the day because he works 3rd shift and when he woke up, he admitted to me that he didn't sleep very well because he was nervous and worried about A.
So now, I have two sons that have me wondering what exactly happened to them. One's very early arrival that will never be known why he decided to arrive early, and one's speech problems and how they came to be. And what did I do to deserve this. Maybe I'll fill my days with my own kind of therapy.