Tuesday, November 15, 2011


My Leland goes to school in our school district for speech, it's an awesome program and we are lucky that he has an awesome teacher. His teacher asked me about 2 weeks before Max came if I would be interested in moving him from her class (which is a special ed only class and has about 8 or 9 kids in it) into an inclusion classroom. For those that may not know it speech classifies a child as Special ed, thus the inclusion classroom which is a fancy way of saying there are a few high achieving special ed kids in a class with "normal" functioning kids his age. I am all for this change, however, given the circumstances and all the changes at home I thought I would really like to wait a while and see how Leland handles the change, I expressed that to his teacher and told her I was fine to get the ball rolling (as with everything funded by the government there is a TON of paperwork for these poor teachers!) and we could put it on pause if Leland didn't handle it well, after all too much change makes most adults nervous and most of us have the ability to really understand whats happening, whereas a 4 year old has limited ability to really understand whats happening around him, even when you talk it over with them a million times their little mind just can't wrap around what is happening! I have noticed the typical regression behaviors around the house since things have settled and all our visitors and helpers have gone. For instance he used to wet the bed maybe once a month if that really he has been so good about it, but now its almost a nightly occurrence, and believe me, we have tried not giving him anything to drink 2 hours before bed time and it still happens, its gotten a little better and he is actually making it to the bathroom most nights now when/if he has to go, but holy frustrating batman! He has also become more defiant, normally I can ask him to do something and he gladly helps or does what ever is asked of him... Not the case these days he will yell in my face or tell me to do it. It gets old fast. These things are frustrating but totally expected. We have new boundaries in our house and that is tough for the little man, and shoot it's tough for me. I had hoped that things were still going well at school until today when I got the call from his teacher, she sounded nervous and I knew she was worried she would flip me out. (I guess I am that mom... the one that over communicates in hopes to make her job easier but really I just come off as a little obsessive, time to lay off the emails. :)) Luckily it was nothing huge but he has been more moody at school, crying easily and not participating when asked to. She was very kind about it all, but I can't help but feel like I suck as a mom. I know it's normal, I can say that till the cows come home, it doesn't make me feel any better. I guess I feel like I should have been able to prevent it all, which thankfully his teacher mentioned that if the child doesn't regress they usually think something is wrong on a bigger scale, so in a way I should be thankful he has regressed. A really long post to say that we postponed him moving classes until his ARD meeting at the end of January. When we meet then we will talk about him moving into the inclusion class, before that meeting I think he will spend two weeks going to the new class, which would mean new teachers and new kids. It will be interesting to see how well he handles the change, as well as how well I handle the change.

Can I also for the record say I hate that he has the label of special ed! I know it doesn't define him, as I was also in special ed, and this school record is closed out when he starts kindergarten, meaning that the teacher won't know about his special ed status unless he still needs help with speech. I realize that the above statement may make me sound mean and or judgmental, but I know how people react when I say that I was in special ed as a child, there is always this "no way..." reaction, when you can tell they are dying to know whats "wrong" with you. Well folks... Nothing is wrong with me. I am a slower learner than most which means I needed a little extra help in certain subjects and I did quite enjoy that hour of study hall in high school. But while I can explain that now easily I always felt like I was some kind of failure then, I wasn't as good as the other students etc. I suppose I really don't want Leland to feel like he isn't as good as other students, I know right now that's not the case, but if he continues in speech (which I honestly don't think there will be a need, he really is progressing nicely) he will start to feel it when he gets to the elementary school if that makes sense. I also feel like special ed can hinder an education, I guess now though they have a better understanding of it than they did maybe when I was in it. After all when I started the program it was 14 years ago, and when I look back I can honestly say that when I was in 8th grade and still having math lessons on adding and subtraction instead of getting pre algebra like my peers that that probably did more harm than help, since I struggled even more with my algebra classes and had to retake Algebra 1 since I did so poorly in it the first time around. I guess I am just worried about Leland having a label, but that is outweighed by how glad I am that he is learning to interact with all types of people and that his teacher (on a good day) writes notes home about how glad she is to have him in her class, that he is a good leader and friend to those in the class with more severe problems than he has. That is enough to make me proud of him and thankful that he has the opportunity to be in the program, I think beyond speech and learning to follow teacher guided activities he is learning that everyone is different, and how to be kind to everyone no matter the disability or label.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

I totally understand your concern about saying he is in special ed. There is unfortunately a "something is wrong with you" stigma associated with it, even though there is nothing wrong, just different than the majority!

Good luck with getting him into an inclusion class. My nephew is that way, he's autistic, and it has been awesome for him to be with "normal" kids, even though he still interacts differently than they do. That transition will be interesting to read about when he switches over!