Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Can't seem to keep up!

I realize I haven't posted anything since August.....I haven't posted any pics of all my redecorating, actually, I've been sort of stalled over here.

My son, who is 7, with PDD-NOS (an autism spectrum disorder) has been in school since September, and is NOT having a very good year this year.....lots of behaviour problems, he doesn't want to participate, the school doesn't know what to do, lots of calls to come and pick him up because he is not behaving -- I'm telling you, it is absolutely EXHAUSTING! I haven't got a clue how those parents that have to work full time are able to enroll their kids in school. My son has been going to his regular neighbourhood school, in a regular classroom since kindergarten, but it's just not working this year, and nothing seems very hopeful right now. I don't feel like the school and I are on the same page, he hates being there, I'm feel that he's really not wanted there, it's all pretty depressing, and has actually mentally been very draining -- I find that I just can't seem to get anything done these days, I spend most of my time researching, trying to figure out how to help him, talking to professionals, etc. I want to do what's right for him, but don't want to just send him off to a special education class (this has been offered to me by the school) because I feel so strongly that inclusion in a regular school with his friends and neighbours is really in his best interest. Sadly, I don't think my school feels the same -- much of the staff is overworked, they don't have enough support workers, and no one seems to have any alternative ideas as to how to fit this square peg into a round hole. Last year he was so happy to go to school, sure he had his problems, but this year it seems to be such a struggle each and every day to get him out the door. Recently, he's been watching the cartoon "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer".....I'm sure you all know the story, Herbie, the elf that doesn't fit in, he wants to be a dentist, not a toymaker....my son often sings the song from the movie "I'm such a misfit"....and the other day he was singing it, and I said to him "your not a misfit" and he said "yes I am. I am a misfit, I don't fit in at school......but I fit in at home". My heart broke for him! I wish so much I could help him to fit in, I wish I could do more to help my school be truly inclusive, a place that he feels welcome and part of, instead of a place where he feels that he just can't measure up to everyone's expectations and demands.

One of my New Year's resolutions is most definitely to start concentrating a bit more on my creative side, attend to this blog more often, and try to focus on something in my life instead of autism. I wonder if the typical parent who isn't affected by autism in their lives, understands what parents of special needs children have to go through, just to get their children the education and attention that they deserve. The meetings, the phone calls, the tears, it is something I never even THOUGHT about before my son came along--- being an advocate has become my full time job! But, all I have to do is look at my son, hear his silly jokes and I realize it is all worth it, every minute of it! I wouldn't change him for the world-- the beauracracy of the school system for sure....but never him!

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