As I feed Roa his breakfast, Gunnar is giving me an art history lesson about Picasso’s Blue Period. Roa is 6, Gunnar just turned 4 last week. Roa has cerebral palsy. Gunnar has typical…yet frightfully advanced in some areas… development.
The Balancing Act in a Time Warp
I left Gunnar’s preschool orientation, head swimming with so many thoughts.
I’m such a fake, phony, hider, traitor to my Roa. He is off at kindergarten orientation with Daddy while I’m here, in the easy life of World Typical. He has face after smiling face getting up close and personal to say hi and talk about his speech, his movement, his toilet training… right in front of him, while I can sit back with all these other parents and watch our 3-year olds play and explore in this classic education classroom. Read more
As school starts across the country, I watch as friends post pictures taken sending their little ones…babies, off to Kindergarten. Before I was a parent, I always thought, why the misty-eyed, tearful reaction? What a great milestone to celebrate! Entrance into school to make friends, learn new things, and explore that developing personality! Now, as my own son gets ready to start his elementary school career, I get it. It’s emotional watching your not-long-ago-baby heading off to independence. Read more
The conversation in the car was inevitable. I had been waiting on it for almost 12 years —since the triplets began kindergarten as a matter of fact. But expecting a conversation and being prepared for it are two completely different things.
“Mom, am I horrible that I am so tired of people telling me that looking at me reminds them that their problems aren’t so bad?” Mason, 17, asked. “I know they mean it in a good way. ‘You overcome so much, blah, blah, blah,’ but still.” Read more
We walked into the building holding hands and breathing deep, unsure of what the next hour would bring. It’s that time of the year at school. End of the year testing, planning for the next, and the IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meeting. The last two years, no worries. We had a great team of teachers and therapists who knew Roa and his abilities. They were amazing at including him in the preschool routine and adapting things to suit his needs. But this year, the game has changed. Roa is entering Kindergarten this fall. He is changing teachers, therapists, bus drivers and school building. This IEP meeting was entered with a touch of anxiety and a pinch of apprehension. Read more
Concussions have become the latest health topic in the media. How can parents become educated to recognize a concussion, and know where to go for the best care? How do you prevent disabling symptoms from persisting with a concussion? Knowing what to watch for is the best start to preventing long-term issues. Most concussions resolve themselves in 10-14 days, with a small percentage causing persistent, even disabling symptoms. Experts can’t seem to predict why some people have longer recovery, although the number of concussions a person has experienced can certainly be a factor. Read more
The Bantam as a Bench
Necessity is the mother of using equipment for other than its originally intended purpose.
When our Early Childhood Education building was being remodeled, things had to be shuffled around and put in storage. We got to play our own little version of the, “If your workplace was on fire (and there were of course no darling preschoolers in the building to consider), what items would you save?” My EasyStand Bantam stander was at the top of the list, of course. Read more
In August I had the opportunity to hear Michael Yudin, Assistant Secretary for the United States Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS) speak at the PACER center, my local Parent Training and Education Center (PTI). Read more
Jennifer Thayer is a former Early Childhood Education Teacher with a unique perspective on kids with special needs. Having taught them in a classroom setting, and now parenting a child requiring special education, she knows both sides of the education system. Below is a re-post from her blog, Rojo’s Journey, dated January 16, 2013:
Dear parents of students from my teaching days,
I am writing this to apologize to you. For what, you may ask? Oh, so many things.
I know that I thought I did my best for you and your child. I planned the lessons and adapted them to suit your child’s unique needs. I carried through with the activities and noted progress. I recorded areas of need and goals for the future. I wrote you notes and emails reporting about the day and gave you ideas and “homework” of things which still needed improvement. Conferences, homevisits, and IEP meetings.
But then I went home. Read more