Tuesday, May 6, 2008

What's Normal Anyway?

I probably never mentioned anything about Wonderboy and how he's doing in school. I guess it's a sensitive subject for me, similar to my sisters situation. You probably have no idea what I'm talking about...let me explain.

Wonderboy is not in the typical grade that he should be for his age of 8. Technically he should be in 2nd but he's not. He's in Special Ed, there I said it. Not that there's anything wrong with that. When asked in "public" what grade he is in, it's difficult for me to just admit he's in S.E. so I just say 2nd so I don't have to deal with the questions.
Most likely he will always need some sort of special assistance through out his schooling. Though I've heard and read nightmare stories of the public education system of Special Ed, I've always had 100% support and nothing but the best teachers and staff working with him. I do feel blessed and thankful for that.
Lucky for WB he is totally immersed with "normal" kids 90% of the time. This I think I'm very grateful for. He is a typical "normal" kid on the outside and in, he just lacks the socialization and comprehensive tendencies of most kids his age. Which being with the other SE kids all the time, I think would hinder him more.
Every year all of his teachers and hubs and I meet to discuss his future education plan. Every year they have high hopes of sending him off to 100% immersion with the intended grade. Every year his testing results indicate that he's again not ready yet. He probably never will be ready. It's a bitter-sweet pill to swallow.

I know I have to accept the fact that he probably won't ever be "normal". The hardest part is trying to explain to Gameboy why WB is different in that he doesn't go to "normal" school and doesn't have homework like he does. Why he doesn't even go to the same school as he does. Yet I've been in Gameboy's shoes. I understand his questions and feelings that his brother is treated "special" or thoughts that he's not quite like everyone else. I know these things because my sister was and is the same way.
The bitterness and hurt come about when thinking thoughts of having a "normal" relationship with a sibling. I sometimes think how unfair it is that I can't just call my sister on the phone and have a sisterly chat or even really do sisterly "normal" things. I then sometimes start thinking of GB and BB if thy will get to have "normal" brotherly conversations and do brotherly things together with WB. I have to reassure myself that yes, yes they will have as "normal" a brotherly relationship as they do now and hopefully in the future.
Besides, what's "normal" anyway?


Anonymous said...

I have now been on two of the sides of special education. 1. being a sped teacher 2. having a daugher with special needs. I will say to you say it with pride....WB is in the 2nd grade, because he is. He just has a modified 2nd grade curriculum. My hardest days are the days Gracie is evaluated. I hate IFSP meetings. I did not enjoy IEP meetings either, because I was always worried about the parents. I think God made me a special ed teacher for a reason.


Krista said...

I'm so glad that you've had all positive experiences with special ed! There are so many ways it can go wrong. :(
My first experience was when I was in 2nd grade and there were 3 kids with Downs that would come into our classroom every week (day?) for awhile. It was neat to have them there and there was no way they could be mainstreamed, but I think it's always made me feel that total isolation for special ed is really not a good idea.
From everything you write it sounds like he's pretty "normal" to me! :)

MP said...

I wish we had special ed when I was in school..I think alot of kids were really embarrassed since they couldn't keep up. I wish there was a perfect way to educate every child..but there isn't and we do what we can and life goes on. It seems like with a mom like you WB is doing fine..and will continue to be fine.
Normal is way overrated.

Lawanda said...

Well I agree with you on the "what's normal anyway?" thing.

And I have a sister who is bipolar, and so I never got those sisterly chats either. So I know where you are coming from there.

jennifer said...

Wonderful post, just wonderful.

Deb - Mom of 3 Girls said...

I wonder every day about Abby and if we should be more actively pursuing Special Ed. help for her. It's so hard to know - she's doing ok right now, but I know there will probably come a time when she won't be able to keep up with the other kids - at least socially.

I don't think there's a 'one size fits all' definition of normal - whatever's normal for any specific person is their 'normal'! :)


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