I’ve felt really alone this school year. We moved to a new state and the transition to a new school has been ROUGH for my twins, and especially for my son Benji.
Benji loves to learn but school is hard for him, at least it is right now. We’re on the downward slope of the school roller coaster—or is it the upward climb? Either way, 4th grade has been difficult.
Maybe you know this struggle too. Maybe your child, like mine, has a diagnosed learning disability, an IEP (individual education plan), and an alphabet soup of letters to describe his challenges. For us, it’s ASD, SPD, and ADHD (Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
While I may be feeling discouraged and alone right now (I’m still adjusting to our move and the new school too) I know there are other parents out there who are going through the same things we are with our child.
Maybe you can relate to this list…
You know you are a parent of a child with an IEP/Learning Disabilities/Who struggles in school if:
You constantly second (and third and fourth) guess your schooling choice. You wonder, “If I homeschooled/public schooled/private schooled/charter schooled…would he still be struggling?”
You hold your breath every time you pick up your child from school because you never know what kind of day he had. If it was a bad day—and there have been a lot of bad days lately—you know you’ll be dealing with the emotional aftermath all afternoon (and maybe all evening).
You are in constant communication with the school through emails and phone calls but you always wonder what you are missing. Becuase if you knew that, your child wouldn’t be struggling…right???
You never leave your phone in your purse because you worry that you will miss a call from the school.
When your child utters the words “I have homework” your stomach drops like toddler holding a carton of eggs. You take a deep breath, drink another cup of coffee, and pray for patience (and for your left eye to stop twitching).
You honestly wonder how working parents with LD kids do it with the number of meetings you have to attend. Then you remember: You quit your job two years ago because you couldn’t work and parent your special-needs kiddo too…
Specialist or therapists who talk down to you or act superior annoy the snot out of you. This ain’t your first rodeo. You’ve been around this block before. You know your child best and you trust your gut. “Welcome to the team, specialist, but I’m directing this show.”
You hope you don’t cry at the IEP meeting.
You celebrate a C with high-fives and “Great job, Buddy!”
You find yourself nodding and smiling when other parents talk about the novels their kids are reading, the reports they are writing, the awards they are getting, and the gifted programs they are in. You say “Congrats” and you mean it…but inside you are dying a little.
You feel jealous of other families’ “normal” school situations. And then you feel guilty that you wish your child was different because what kind of mom thinks that?? Guilt upon guilt.
You tag-team your spouse on homework when your “calm-encouraging-voice” is quickly becoming so loud even the dog is hiding from you.
You constantly wonder what you are doing wrong, what you are doing right (anything?) and whether or not you can actually get through this school year (or week).
You ask your husband to go to the store to buy you the jumbo Hersey’s bar after an excruciating homework session.
You watch graduation scenes from TV shows or movies and cry because 1. You wonder if you’re going to make it and 2. You know that will be the proudest day of your life.
Are you the mom of a wonderful child who also struggles in school?
What would you add to this list?
Share your story here or on TheBamBlog FB page.