School Thoughts

Yesterday I had an appointment with Vincent’s teacher. It was one of those meetings I think (assume) it is easiest to picture yourself in if you have a child with special needs. It was one of those eye openers or IRL experiences you get every so often when you realize how much your child does not know. It kind of hits you and the physical pain is real:
-Crap, do 6 year olds know THAT much????
I am not trying to compare, but it is pretty impossible not to compare. My issue is not with what the other kids know or what Vincent does not know. It is neither with the school or with the teachers. My issue is within me.

I am extremely proud of Vincent and how he is developing.
I am extremely proud of everything he knows.
I am extremely proud of how mature he is becoming and how much he is his own person.
I am extremely proud of how he has made little friends an big friends.
I am extremely proud of him, just they way he is.

What I am scared of is that Vincent will not have the best ability to learn for HIM. I believe Vincent will learn a lot in school. But the struggle will be to find the Vincent-motivators that will challange him just right. If he does not want to do the work it is going to be tough,close to impossible. But if they can find the key to teaching him in a way that captures his interest I fully believe his potential is significantly higher.
I know that the more time we as parents spend with him working on homework and such, the better equipped he will be for his adult life. I also realize that there is a breaking point where the study effort is not worth it, the cost of other life aspects will be too high. Where that breaking point is, time will tell.

So I thought and my mind twisted and turned. And then I talked to the best people in the world. My bestest friends with the smartest of takes on it. Actually all with ‘only’ so called normal children. And I felt a lot calmer and relaxed and less stressed and no longer so scared and sad.

When I picked up Vince from school today I was told he had a great day. He participated all day and he did excellent in gym classes. He waited in line and took turns and walked to the cafeteria just fine. He played with the boys in his class for recess and was on the soccer field with the bigger kids too.
I talked to his assistant about how she feels she is equipped for first grade next year. She understood my concerns and we came up with some good things to bring into our next meeting in prepping for 1st grade.

The school road ahead of us is long and I have no clue in what direction we will end up. We are starting off in our neighborhood school, and so far so good. Vince enjoys going to school. Vince is comfortable there and he likes his assistant. I like his assistant. I feel we are being listened to and communication is working. And most important of all: Vincent is happy!



12 Responses

  1. Det är svårt för alla föräldrar, tror jag. Även om man VET att man inte ska jämföra sina barn med andra så gör man det ändå, både på gott och ont. Alla föräldrar har saker som de är osäkra på hur dom ska hantera. Just nu går vi igenom stressen över Melles öga, samtidigt som Liam känner sig ensam och utanför i skolan. Han HAR kompisar och han ÄR inkluderad, men han KÄNNER sig utanför. Som tur är har han lärare och assistenter som är så “on top of things” att de redan, efter två dagar av “bad days at school,” har dragit igång olika projekt och metoder som ska göra att han känner sig säkrare och gladare. Dom är verkligen kanon, och det är jag otroligt tacksam för. Så länge man har folk i skolan som man känner att man kan lita på och som verkligen bryr sig om ens barn, så fixar det sig till slut. Man får helt enkelt dra nytta av deras erfarenhet och lita på att dom vet vad dom pratar om. I vårt fall är det ju långt ifrån första gången dom har detta problem med en elev, men för MIG är det första gången. Med hjälp från skolan kommer vi att fixa detta, och med hjälp från er skola kommer Vincent att få det bra också. Dom har erfarenhet av andra barn och kan säkert komma fram till metoder som funkar för Vincent också.

  2. you and me both. It’s so hard to know what’s right and how to balance it all and it feels like the stakes are SO high.

    Happy is worth a lot.

    He is just so handsome. He looks like such a big kid!

    • If I may put in my two cents,

      As important as it is to have structure for them, we must remember that each of them have their special needs, much like we do.

      Personally for me, if a child is able to communicate his/her wants through whatever means then they have a voice and it is our turn to respond. Most times they are ‘voiceless’ and it’s our job to empower them and make them feel good.

      The balance will come to you and Kicki through years of experience and your best source, your special relationship with your child and you.

    • I know Cate! I keep thinking about your school struggles too. I hate when they use the argument he woould get so much more specialized help there bla bla bla.
      Hope no one needs a good car keying;)

  3. I think you hit it right on the nail when you said ‘Vince is happy.’

    From my experience, achievement in academics is the least important in comparison to exposure of different activities. Whatever old school model we have in our head about schools experience… throw that out. We can’t think the “normal” route. With Vince, you can create your own model that suits Vince’s needs.

    As you note, there will come a time when Vince will not corporate during homework time and the difficulty lies with you in trying to reason with him. Vince may not understand the theory of consequences for scenarios.

    I understand in Sweden, there is a lot of support and Vince could very well go to college.

    From most parents I talk to, they are keenly interested for their children to be happy and be well adjusted adults. What is your definition of that?

    I know of a school where in their early years, they focused a lot on living skills and independent living and less reading. Now their students are in their 30’s & 40’s, most of them work and are able to manage most daily activities without aid. Now the same place, mid way through, changed their mission and focused more on academics. The batch now, in their 20’s, although are able to read more they are unable to cope with basic daily activities and have behavioral problems. Some behavioral problems stems from low esteem as they are not empowered to make their own choices and are constantly depending on aid. Dignity is very important to them even though they do not know it.

    I’m glad you’re not feeling so sad or scared. Even if you are, it’s okay and it’s normal.

    E-mail me if you have any questions. I’ve dealt mostly from adolescent to adulthood and have many special friends who have shared their experiences with me.

    • Honestly the argument of as long as he is happy does not go over to well with me. I mean what parents would NOT want their kid happy? With kids without a dx it is just assumed, but as a special needs patents it is like something you will have to settle with “at least he is happy”. You know what I mean?
      Might have to do a separate blog post on this…. 😉

      • You’ve definitely got a valid point there. Would love to hear more when you do another post. 🙂

        I know it’s hard to stomach but you’ll be surprise to know some parents actually don’t care about the happiness aspect. It was a shocker to me as well. As logical beings, we don’t question such a basic emotion.

        Just picking and choosing a few things I’ve seen parents do or not do over the years, I strongly believe in two contributions for their well being.
        i) exposure to all sorts of activities ( music, art, outings, buying own food, picking own clothes)
        ii) interaction with peers (all age levels)

        If I may be so bold to say, not all kids (special kids or not) are given the opportunity for the two things I mentioned above.

    • And thanks for all input! It is awesome to have your ideas, views snd perspective!
      Were you not a TIM-major too? How did you end up w special needs kids?

      • Haha most welcome, sorry if I tend to over share. I hope I don’t come off as nosy…that would defeat my intention.

        I know parents with kids, adults now really, who’ve done things by the book, by their own experience, trials & errors. Somethings could have been avoided or even started earlier than anticipated.

        I value all the things they have shared with me and I can’t help but share with you. I value even more what my friends with special needs share with me, what their parents did, or what they wished their parents did for them. You know, what they really want and not what is expected out of them.

        Thank you for posting Vince’s video, he’s very energetic, no surprise there! You’re energetic as well. haha

        I was a Human Resources major when we met but I did rather badly in our MGMT 100 class.I think I made the switch to Counseling Psychology a semester before you left. It was an internship in a special school that lead me to now my 13th year in this line! haha

        I don’t have to meet Vince and already I know I’ve got a friend in him. 🙂

  4. Happy is almost the most important thing. Not happy = not learning. Try not to worry too much and take each day as it comes.

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