I’m grateful to work from home during the pandemic, because I can stand on the steps every morning and wave to T as the hubby drives him to school.
As I watch the car disappear down the street, I say a silent prayer. I ask for T to have a positive day that includes incremental growth, learning, friendship and happiness.
Most days are good. Some days are great. And some are not as great, even disastrous.
It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a year since I started this blog.
One thing that motivated me to start this blog was this time last year, our school board cancelled the specialized kindergarten program, of which T was around one of the 25 or so kids in 7 classrooms across the city that benefitted from the early intervention supports provided on social behaviour so that kids could be better prepared for grade school.
I wanted to do my part to advocate for T and for children like T – in an anonymous way that honours his privacy.
This weekend, as friends in America celebrate Thanksgiving, I pause to remember that there are so many things to be thankful for.
For me, it’s the daily incremental successes.
When you are a parent – special needs or not – you are so mired in the daily mineutia, the weeds of the trenches, that you often forget to step back and look at the big picture.
As I sit here at our dining room table sipping my morning coffee and watching T play with Balloon Santa, I see a tremendous growth in him compared to this time a year ago.
His language skills are great. I love that he and I can have fun and deep conversations and that he asks me hard questions.
The hubby and I see his pre-reading and pre-math skills emerging. His child and youth worker recently told us that he is above average in his class with reading and math.
While he still struggles with hyperactivity and focus, with the combined help of his child and youth worker, using behavioral modification strategies, and starting medication this summer, he’s come such a long way with being able to sit still and focus on a task.
While getting him to comply with daily routines can still be a patience-sapping challenge, there are far less meltdowns.
And he is such a wonderful, keen and capable helper at home and at school.
I try to be honest when I shared the ups and downs of raising a child with great potential and challenging needs.
Often times, this may give the impression that T is all problems and challenges.
I would say that life with our T is mostly 80% great and 20% very hard. I would consider that a good ratio!
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned this past year is to celebrate every incremental success together.
About a week ago, the hubby received an excited call from T’s child and youth worker. She told him that T had his best day ever at school.
Every night, when T and I come from daycare, the hubby is standing in the foyer with his arms open and a smile on his face as the door swings open. T runs to the hubby and gives him a big hug.
That evening, T got an extra long and tight hug.
We read – as we do daily – her daily report in T’s school log out to T.
“This was the best work I have ever seen T do! He was very focused and did not scribble all over the page! Great work T!” She wrote. “T did an excellent job reading today. He went over to the teacher without any complaint! Great job!”
The hubby finished reading and T had a proud and self-satisfied smile on his face.
Without skipping a beat, he asked, “Are you going to tell Santa?”