Tuesday, August 23, 2011

warning! Grumbly vent ahead…

Remind me again why I thought homeschooling a special needs child was a good idea?  I know the statistic that brought us here:  80% of deaf/hard of hearing children graduate from high school functionally illiterate.  We knew (thought!?!) we could do better than that.  Yeah, sure.  At the moment, I’m thinking that we’re well on the way to being one the 80%!!  It’s been ‘tear-your-hair-out!’ frustrating…and we’re only on day 2 of the school year.  sigh.

It’s not any one thing; instead, it’s the combination of issues that make it so:::challenging.  And it’s nearly impossible to separate out the pieces.  The lack of fine motor skills make worksheets hard.  The hearing and speech issues make oral work difficult.  The combination means staying focused on the ‘hard work’ is nigh unto impossible, even for 2 or 3 minutes.  (No, it’s not ADD or ADHD we don’t think.  The dr. agrees. )  We both strongly suspect there’s an overarching developmental delay that affects nearly everything.  We see it in a variety of things.  His drawings (VERY 3 year old-ish!) reflect it.  Many of his actions/reactions are much more ‘appropriate’ for a 3 year old.  His self control is approximately on par with a 3 year old.  He doesn’t tend to connect cause and effect.  Logical or natural consequences mean very little to him.  Every day is a challenge.  Adding school has made it harder.

This same child, though, the one who doesn’t connect cause and effect and has very little self control?  Well, he has the most amazing selective memory!  (It’s HIGHLY selective!!)  He cannot remember for 5 minutes to keep his hands off his sister’s things, but he can remember for 3 weeks snippets of a conversation Jim and I had about something not related to him.  And can recite that conversation almost verbatim!  Sure makes you watch your words carefully!!

I used to think we were fairly decent parents.  Now, though, we’re having to throw out everything we’ve ever learned in 22 years and start over.  Talk about humbling!  I just have to hang on to what I do know:  that the God who brought this child to us is the same God who loves us and is our strength.   At the moment, I am beyond grateful for His words in Lamentations 3:

“…this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:  Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him…”

Hanging on…

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