Wednesday, October 28, 2009
And Then There Were 3
Well, I've always had three! Just when it comes to homeschooling, I started out with one and then I brought in the second and as of next Monday we are bring home the third! I am so excited. It feels like it is just right with my heart. To the world it may seem crazy, but to our family, well, it just feels right! I say it may seem crazy because my husband has no job, we care for his 91 soon to be 92 year old grandfather and my son has special needs! I have to just chuckle!
I have always hung my hat on the fact that every year, we did what was best for each child. Keeping Kyle in school I felt was really the best thing for him. He has been attending this school since he was 3 years old! I remember the day I sent my child off in this huge bus, and he didn't speak at all! I drove my car behind the bus until it pulled into the school parking lot. My boy had no words. He was diagnosed with PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified) an autism spectrum disorder, he was nonverbal at age three (he could repeat words, but never initiate words), he had sensory integration dysfunction, and obsessive/compulsive disorder! (He was one of the three cutest/sweetest boys in the whole wide world though!!)
Needless to say, off he went to school and by the time he was almost 4 he said these words to me: "Mommy, I love you!" He had never said those words before! That moment is etched in my brain and heart and as I type these words the memory brings tears to my eyes! A year later when he was 5 years old, he could hug me with a full hug. Years before, he would want a hug, but have to back up into my arms. When he was five I got a full on hug!! Speech/language therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy...several times a week, plus these wonderful, nurturing teachers....I had my boy...the little boy I knew was in this quiet little soul!
Fast forward to present time. Kyle is 8 years old and in 2nd grade. (He really didn't pass 1st grade, but he had already been left behind in kindergarten...you get the picture) At the beginning of this school year, Kyle was content with going to "his" school. He loves "his" school. Brothers get homeschooled, he was curious about that, but he had friends now at "his" school. He was invited to a birthday party by himself for the first time ever!! A friend "chose" him! However, slowly, I started to see serious regression. My happy little boy, was angry. He was reverting to toddler type behaviors (a classic response to shutting down). He was exhibiting behaviors that I hadn't seen in years. What was going on?
We had a few meetings at school. "Let's change Kyle from having been pulled out to one or two places and put him in a co-teach situation. With a regular class, with a resource teacher assisting the primary teacher. Let's do this for two subjects now." For a child who has never done well with transition (when he was very young if we made a u-turn in our car he would cry and kick), and who thrives with routine, my boy had to transition at least 10 times a day..from teacher to teacher to this classroom to that classroom. He was on overload!! While he held it together at school, he let it loose at home (toddler behavior and total regression). So much more went into make this decision, but when I finally decided to "get out of the boat" and go with what the Lord was telling me to do, not only have I been confirmed, but I have been set free!
Kyle will begin homeschooling with his brothers this coming Monday! I am so excited and very nervous as well. This will be a transition for sure. There are kinks that will need to be worked out for sure! He will be partially enrolled with his special education teacher and his speech/language therapist - it equates to about 1 1/2 hours a day at the school! It is almost like the best of both worlds. He will still see his friends, and I will make the serious effort to keep those going outside of school!
The benefits far outweigh the fear! Is there fear...well...yes! I think that I gave too much credit to the school (after all they taught him to say "I love you"! Well, as my husband said...we had been saying that for 4 years...we taught him to say I love you...they just gave him the opportunity to grow and some tools to help him!
Here he will do devotions with us, snuggle on the bed to hear some of the most amazing books ever!! We will go on nature walks and make meals together. He will learn a new way to do math and see history come alive as we do some fun activities with our history! He will take art classes with the local art museum and have park play dates and do co-ops with our homeschool friends. He will be with his brothers who love him, and he will be able to work at his own pace and not feel overwhelmed or rushed! He will feel successful and confident! This is what is best for my boy!! So....Welcome Home Kyle!!!
(shh....my other boys are planning a surprise breakfast...all of Kyle's favorite foods (because he must eat and run most mornings he has enough time to only eat an oatmeal bar for breakfast every day)...so they made up the menu...grapes...pancakes with chocolate chips...chocolate milk...and decorations of course! )