I walked in the meeting room to a group of people who truly love my child. We laughed as we shared stories from the past year and I cried as each team member shared Malachi's triumphs and what he still needs to work on. Malachi is not just another child in the class, he is the heart and soul. His personality infectious, his smile warms your heart. When Malachi is absent the class feels it. I am a proud mom.
The meeting itself went better than expected. He is progressing and has made some huge gains over the past year. We discussed PT, OT and Speech, his desire to please adults and his love of books. Extended school year was recommended and we quickly agreed to it. Every aspect of the meeting was perfect, we were a team doing our best to figure out the best possible environment for Malachi to succeed and I believe we did it perfectly.
He will continue the next school year in Early Childhood. He will work towards his new goals and grow as a person. We all feel that this is the best option for him right now. I am please and at peace with our decision.
Way to go little man, mommy is so very proud!!
Friday, April 20, 2012
Today is Malachi's yearly IEP. It's the big one where new goals will be set, we will discuss his previous goals and talk about what the next year of school looks like. This is always a day I dread but not because I am worried about his progress. This day is all about Malachi and what is BEST for him. I worry that I am making the wrong decisions, that mystubbornness will hurt him in the long run. I worry that I am going to be judged not just by his team but by other parents, especially those who have children with special needs. What do I do? What atmosphere is the best for him? inclusion vs. segregation? Where will he flourish? What environment will benefit him emotional well beings as well as his educational progress? The questions can go on and on. Its a never ending battle. And then when you finally come to a decision there is a new article written or another mom which tells you why your decision was wrong.
Doubt. It's constant. Which was is right? One group of people says inclusion, inclusion, inclusion. While there is the other group that says special ed, special ed, special ed. There is no compromise, its one or the other according to them and which ever side you chose, the other will disagree and label you us uneducated. This conversation is EVERYWHERE and everyone claims to have the right answer but which is really right? I have no idea.
What I do know is Malachi. I know his struggles, his triggers and his strengths. I know that music has magical powers over him and that he responds to positive attitudes. He is a love but is also very stubborn. I know him better than anyone else and I am the ONLY person qualified to decide what is best for him. And that is what I try to do every day of his life. My goal is to provide him with all the opportunities in the world to be successful, to be happy and to be as independent as he can possibly be. And right now the absolute best place for him is in a Early Childhood Education class where there are 5 other students, one teacher, 2 assistants and where he receives speech, occupational therapy and physical therapy. PERIOD. There is no discussion on the topic and I do not need to justify my decisions to anyone. I am passionate about doing the right thing for Malachi and that's it. As time goes on things may change and I may feel he is ready for full inclusion but I may also feel like a modified version is better.
What is right for Malachi may not be right for your child and that is absolutely okay in fact it's part of what makes this world so beautiful.
I refuse to pick a side. I say do what is best for your child regardless of what the latest study or self advocate says, you are the ONLY person that knows your child and what is BEST FOR HIM!
Monday, April 16, 2012
Elijah went to the pediatrician today for a pre-op exam (tubes in, adenoids out on May 9th) and I expected everything to go normal. HAhahAHA. I was mistaken. As we were heading out of the exam room I remember I wanted ask Dr. M about his diaper rash that has not been getting any better. He has had this before, she give him special cream and bam its going in a day or 2. She decided she wanted to take a peek and boy am I glad she did. It turns out my little man "probably" has MRSA!!! Where he got it from and how the heck it ended up on his man giblets are beyond me. They took at culture and started him on general antibiotics once the results come back we will decide the best medication to clear it up. Good news however, he is cleared for surgery and he gets out of therapy for a few weeks!
Daddy told him a story about a man who had MRSA in his legs and he had to get them amputated. Eli is genuinely concerned about him manhood.
In addition to the great MRSA epidemic of 2012, the weather has been freakishly nice here in northern Illinois! Well not this week, or last week but we did have a few 80 degree days a few weeks ago! We made the most of it taking long walks in our summers finest duds! There is nothing cuter than chunky baby legs and let me tell you Elijah has a made case of cankles!
And since the weather has been unusually nice, my wonderful husband decided we needed to clean the windows. Thankfully we have 4 little hands that love to help.
We have some mighty fine window washers in this house, Josh included!
Saturday, April 14, 2012
There is something so beautiful about a bubble. Perhaps it's the colors projected on it's delicate surface or how quickly it's formed with a simple breath. Maybe it's the way it floats though the air following a path that is unseen with the human eye or maybe the gentle noise it makes when it finally finds a resting place and pops. It' seems like every child loves bubbles, mine included.
And I LOVE watching their face as the tiny bubbles float away. The Easter Bunny found this awesome bubble machine this year and it is the single best gift my children have EVER received from any fictional holiday character. I decided to allow them to play with it in the house (perhaps the soap will clean my carpets?? why the heck not! ) and now this small bucket of fun has been added to out daily routine. The other day while I was watching the boys squeal with delight as bubbles filled the room, I began to cry. They joy in the hearts, the smiles on their faces were enough to send my mommy emotions on a rocket right out of my heart. I sobbed like a fool, I laughed with tears streaming down my cheeks and my soul was overflowing with love.
...we all can learn a lot from a bubble.
It's not about where the bubble ends but its the path it takes that is magical. I needed to be reminded of the journey we have taken. The beauty in the pain, the joy in the unknown and the adventure in the trials. If my boys can find pure joy in something as simple as a bubble, then why can't I?