Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Learning to Live with a Learning Disabled Child.
I've mentioned before that it seems that my son has some learning disabilities. Well after much testing the school has finally recognized what my husband and I have feared for a few years and his kindergarten teacher noticed right away. My son has always been not quite right when it came to learning and communicating things. He only spoke one or two words by the age of 2 and it wasn't until he was 2 1/2-3 years old that he began to speak in 2-3 word sentances. Try as we might he couldn't learn his colors, abc's nor his numbers. He knew the color blue and at one point he could count to 10 but somewhere along the way lost it. He was nearly 4 before he was fully potty trained.
My son just made the kindergarten cutoff this year. I mean litterally by a few days. Had he been born when I was due he would have been comfortably past the cutoff date. Last year I contacted the school before we registered him and expressed my concern. The then principle (who has since retired) was nice and we spoke back and forth. I was told not to worry and to send him anyway but that I would not be penalized for keeping him home another year since it was so close to the cutoff date. He informed they had children there who came from families that only speak Spanish to those who have never even seen a book or held a crayon. At the time my fears were relieved.
It took the school nearly 2 semesters to complete evaluations and testings of my son. Even though my husband and I spoke up and voiced our concerns before day one of school and his teacher expressed her concerns after only 2 weeks of teaching him. After all of the tests it seems that my son has below average intelligence. So while he is not mentally retarded he most likely struggle for the rest of his life. He starts in his new special education class today. He has already visited the class a couple of times and from what I'm told it is like night and day. He was beaming and excited the whole time he was there. He will also get speech therapy twice a week and see occupational therapist twice a week.
So while I'm happy that my son is where he needs to be to blossom and thrive I've got some mixed feelings. I remember the special ed kids being bullied and made fun of when I was in school. I also feel guilt like what did I do wrong? Was it when I was pregnant? What could I have done differently? Will he always be different from the other kids and will he be able to handle it if he is? Will he be able to function well enough on his own when he is older? Will he have a job and get married?