Sitting around the corner and listening to Jay study science with *Shaunie.
He’s learning it folks. About condensing, melting, freezing, the physical properties of matter, atoms, molecules etc.
He’s learning science!!!! At grade level. It’s not easy for him but he’s trying so hard.
He may not get an A on his test but he’s really learning and I couldn’t be more proud.
I made the mistake of thinking back on when I never in my wildest dreams could have ever imagined this. I couldn’t have imagined anything even close to this.
I don’t have the words to explain this feeling.
That was my Facebook status the other day. Our beloved Nanas commented that she always knew he’d get here. I can’t say the same thing. I always had high hopes for him. Of course. But I’d be lying if I said I always knew my son would be in a general education classroom studying the physical attributes of different kinds of matter. I dared not assume that he’d ever be able to answer the question “What is an atom?” Yet, that’s exactly what was happening.
I had to dry my tears when I heard Jay get up and I realized he was making his way to where I was perched on the stairs.
Later in the evening, I lay on the couch with him for a few minutes.
I wished him luck on his upcoming test and asked him if he liked science. He said yes. I asked him about math and reading. He said they were OK but math is hard. He said he prefers science to both math and reading. I asked him what he thinks about his art class. I wasn’t surprised to hear that he LOVES art.
Lastly I asked him about music class to which he said “It’s loud in there and makes my ears hurt.”
Jay doesn’t have a lot of sensory issues. If he did have one though it would be related to sounds. He’s not a fan of out-of-tune singing for example. I asked him if he’d like me to talk to his teacher about music class. I told him it was possible for him to do something else instead. I thought for sure he’d take me up on that offer but instead he mulled it over for a minute and then said “No. I will stay. I think I can handle it.”
These types of back and forth conversations will never NOT be a miracle to me.
I am blown away by this child.
September 4 years ago, I published posts where the big news was that Jay sat and listened to his first story. I published posts where Jay was getting kicked out of 2 different social skills classes. He wasn’t yet reading. Heck, he wasn’t yet speaking in sentences. Not even 2 or 3 word ones. He definitely wasn’t able to take any kind of standardized test at school. He was in an autism class where they were just trying to get through the day without anyone getting yogurt dumped on their head.
Before bed last night, I hugged him tight and told him how amazing I think he is and how brave I think he is. He shrugged me off. He doesn’t get it. To him, I’m just a Mom being mushy and weird. That’s alright. He doesn’t have to get it.
To all the families who are currently where we were 4 years ago … I know it’s rough. I know everything seems impossible or implausible. I know all you want is for your child to say your name. You don’t even know what your baby’s voice sounds like. How can you think about science or music class? Your brain is full – And tired. I know you want one night of uninterrupted sleep. You’d do anything to be done with diapers – After all your baby is now 5 or 6 or 10. If you could just get them to eat 1 new thing you’d be happy. You’re not asking for much. It doesn’t have to be cauliflower. You just cannot make ONE MORE grilled cheese sandwich. But you will. Cause that’s all your kid eats. You don’t want to hear other people telling you to stay hopeful. You sure don’t want to hear about how their child is also a picky eater. You don’t want to hear about the things you should be doing or what worked for their neighbours kid. You don’t feel like you are doing anything right. You don’t want to fight with schools or insurance companies anymore. You just want things to be easier.
My God, I get it.
But hang in there. It may not happen at the same rate as my son or anyone elses son. That doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you don’t give up. Keep looking. Keep trying. Keep working. Keep talking. There’s no magic pill or therapy or device. It’s HARD. It’s ok to cry. But just keep keeping on.
ASSUME THAT YOUR CHILD CAN LEARN. ASSUME THAT THEY ARE HEARING EVERYTHING YOU SAY AND ARE AWARE OF EVERYTHING YOU DO. ASSUME THAT THEY ARE BRIGHT AND CAPABLE.
The reward just might be your kid acting like it’s no big deal that they know what the volume of a mass is because in their own matter of fact way they will say “Yeah, I’m smart“.