Kerry here. I'm not sure why I'm posting this here, other than that I need an outlet. So, if you don't want to hear a bunch of confused meebling, you might just want to wait for the post after this. :-)
I've been struggling with the concept that our Little Dude is a "special needs" child. I was very baffled, and honestly kind of shocked, when I was told this during the enrollment meeting for his current school. I understand it, logically-he has a clear need for speech therapy, as well as some physical therapy. We were warned waaaaay back when he was a baby and diagnosed with hydrocephaly that he would need therapy. So it shouldn't have been a surprise. But, when I think of "special needs", I tend to think of children who have more obvious needs. I look at my son, and I feel like calling him a special needs child somehow takes away from other children who are considered to be the same. I don't know why I feel this way, and I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest to find out that this offends other parents of special needs children. So, if you're one of those parents, please accept my apologies. I look at my child, who seems mainstream on the outside, and it just feels wrong to me.
But today, my niece looked at me and asked why LD isn't doing the same thing I just asked her to do. I tried to explain that he doesn't always understand or follow instructions, and that we sometimes have to actually physically lead him. And I realized it, then-he does have special needs. If he were to run out into the street, and I were to yell at him to stop, I have no idea if he would actually do it. He's in a near-constant state of frustration because of the disconnect in communication. He won't go up or down stairs by himself. While he seems to enjoy preschool, and gets his therapy there, there's no notable improvement yet in their opinion. Getting the report this past week with nothing but "minimal improvement" was so disheartening for me, even though I know he has only been there a few weeks.
I know I shouldn't feel this way, and that I should give it more time. But I can't help myself, so I worry. And then I toss and turn at night, so I'm tired. I struggle to keep up with 5 kids that aren't mine, as well as the one that is. I try to do housework, laundry, cooking-all these things that other parents totally kick ass at doing, but feels like such a struggle to me lately. I don't feel like this every day, but I do today. I think I need a vacation, but I don't see that happening anytime soon.
But I do have some bright things on the horizon. It's the weekend! The first Crew game is tomorrow-not sure if I'll be there, but I'm happy the season is starting. I'll get some time with just the three of us, and next Thursday and Friday will be just me and my Little Dude. If the weather holds, I'd like to take him to the zoo. I'll tell him about the animals, and maybe he'll be able to tell me a little something about them, too. And I'll slow down, and be patient, and remember that this will all take time. And as a parent, that's the best thing I can give to my child.