Wednesday, May 28, 2008

You don't always know all you think you do...There is probably more going on behind the scenes than you know....

I've been guilty of this many times. I walk around thinking I know what is going on, all the ins and outs, and then WHAM, someone hits me with a whole new perspective. Usually it is something that is plainly visible, but somehow I totally overlooked it. One more world view down the drain.

You need to read THIS.

My son is being evaluated for Asperger's. Probably he does not have it, but we are looking into it. He is DIFFERENT from many other children. I've been dealing with many issues for seven years now. I've had many PROFESSIONALS give me MANY OPINIONS, but still no real answers. I read books, I implement strategies, I watch them fail, I try again and again and again and things fail to get better. I have MANY people trying to give me suggestions on how to fix the problems and they snort in disbelief when I tell them that I've done it and it didn't work. Usually the response is that I didn't do it right or long enough.

What has been working? Accepting that my son is different and that I need to find more creative ways to understand him and figuring out how to meet his unique needs. This year he has been with advanced and gifted students in school and this has been his best year yet. His main hangups have come at daycare and there are many reasons for this.

What do you do with a child that doesn't FIT? Isn't learning disabled, physically disabled, etc? A child that most likely is gifted in many areas? A child that neurologically has difficulty dealing with stimulus or reading social situations? These children belong. They belong in school, they belong in society, but they get shunned and abused because they don't really FIT into our defined categories. There are no special school programs for them in public schools, and there are very few private schools for them and most are prohibitively expensive.

What those kids and that teacher need is a lesson in being different. There are programs that do this. There are ways to do this.

My son came home a few months ago and said "Dad, when the kids at school are talking to me I just want to scream. They aren't being annoying, they aren't being mean, they are just talking normally, but I want to cover my ears and scream." Sensory Input Disorders. Imagine if you put one or two hearing aids in your ears, turned them up, and walked into an elementary school classroom or a cafeteria. How long could you hold out? Have you ever spent any time in either? I don't know if this is what my son is experiencing, but it is my best guess.

Should school just be for children that are all alike? Send the DIFFERENT kids to some other school?

I don't know if I have any answers to this, but I can tell you that voting a kid out of class is the last thing he or his parents need. If you have a concern about a child in one of your children's classes maybe you should contact the parents and talk about what is happening. Maybe you can help out a struggling parent(s) in some way. Maybe you just might learn something that can make you and your child better world citizens. It is easier with children that have visible signs of some handicap, and harder when the child looks totally normal but behaves very oddly.

If you are a parent that has a special needs child you should try and find a group of parents with similar children. It is EXTREMELY helpful to know you are not alone. Try If you can't find a group, start one and let your school and doctor's know about it. You may be surprised at how many other parents are looking for support and understanding.


  1. That's so so horrible...

    If you start young enough there is no reason why kids cannot be taught to accept people who are different. All types. But the example has to come from the grown-ups....

  2. Alm,
    Even older people can learn, but it is more difficult. The Moody Blues have a line in a song that goes "there are none so blind as those who will not see". I believe it is from "I know you're out there somewhere". Opening a closed mind is a very difficult and painful process. :-)

  3. Hey Sexy ~

    Damn perspective. Always messes us up.

    I have a son who I thought may have Asperger's. He was a special needs child. Well in fact, he was just plain special. :)

    He's nearly 27 now and is a wonderful daddy of two children. He is gifted and amazing.

    You really do have to fight, and fight hard, to get the system to work in the interest of your children.

    All the best to you. I'll send all the good thoughts I can your way.

  4. As the single mom of four kids who are widely varying as imaginable, I would have to say that I am blessed in that only one of them is truly a special needs child. And I don't know what to do with him either. Is he medically special needs? Nope. Other than chronic terrible astham, no. Is he psychologically/menatlly special needs? Not that can be diagnosed and, per se, FIXED. But he is terribly, terribly bright, his thought process are far beyond that of his school-aged peers, and he doesn't fit. I worry about hi, so my heart goes out to both of you.

  5. Teri,
    It is encouraging to hear about your son. A person I work with has a son very much like mine...and the outcome wasn't so good. Everyday I'm optimistic that it is going to be a good day. :-)

    I love the quote on your blog, "I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into another room to read a book." ~Groucho Marx. :-)
    I sympathize and empathize with you as well. My son was kept out of the gifted programs until this year because of his "Behavior," and there didn't seem to be any solid diagnosis or effective solution. What I've learned is that I have to be the tireless advocate for my son. No one is going to pick up the standard for me and march. If you can find a group of local parents that also have special needs children I highly suggest you do so. Especially if you feel alone or like you child is the only one. Maybe you already have, but if not then may have some support groups near you locally, or hammer your schools and doctors for a group. If they don't have one, tell them you want to start one (Er, if you have the time and energy, I can certainly see how both are in short supply with three and a toddler). I certainly wish you the best!

  6. Having a child that is different is challenging. My daughter thinks very differently than her peers. She is very secure in herself, but the other kids haven' quite adjusted to her, which makes it challenging for her sometimes.

    There are times when I wish things could be different for her - that she could be one the many rather than such an individual, but she is so wonderful as is... and has such compassion and strength. (She has to as I am visually disabled and it is just the two of us)

    Diversity is a gift - a challenge and a gift. Those who think differently have the ability to give so much to society at large and bring so much to those they know.

    Creative parenting; creative teaching; and finding a supportive community are key.


I will not accept advertising in the body of comments. If you leave links to spam, goods, or services it will be deleted. If you embed HTML it will be deleted. For any number of other reasons I may delete the comment. I do this for the safety and well being of the readers of the blog.