Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Special Discovery

So, I just sent off an email to Boston Children’s Neuro so they can review Liam’s Individual Education Plan—or IEP as it's called if you're in the know, which I guess we are now…

I have been quiet on the blog-front for several weeks now trying to decide if I should talk about this very private matter. Then I realized the whole reason I started blogging was to share experiences with other parents so we all don’t have to feel like we are going it alone… So here we go.

A month ago my husband and I went to a meeting at Liam’s school. It wasn’t just a meeting, it was result of weeks of testing to see why he hasn’t been meeting the same academic goals of his peers. We were there for two hours, in a room where a panel (I like to call them Team Liam) of PT, OT, psychological and special education specialists revealed their findings.

I was so anxious walking in, I think my teeth were chattering and I had to remember to swallow—although then I forgot to breathe, which only made the swallowing even harder! But once they started talking, the anxiety rolled off my body and super tense muscles gave way to a full-body feeling of relief.

A while back I talked about the importance of trusting yourself, your gut, when it comes to the health and happiness of your child. And it was in that room that I finally let the gnawing feeling, the whispers in my self conscious be recognized. Because the truth is none of what they had to say about him or his development was in the least bit surprising, I already knew it instinctively. But unlike in the past, I was not as open, I was less willing to see it, and so I didn’t.

It was also in that room, in that meeting, that every decision we had made since leaving NYC felt right. The town, the community, the school. This was the perfect choice for my two boys and for us as a family. And was gratifying to know that all of the second-guessing, the late night talking, the what if-ing, it all lead up to the right fit for us.

And suddenly I was grateful, so insanely grateful to be there, to be sitting with these incredibly smart, talented people who all want nothing more than to see my son succeed—I mean how amazing is that? I was worried they would only see him as a number, as a “result” of their testing, but they all had such wonderful insights into his personality—how charming, funny, creative, loving he is.

So Liam is now a Special Education student. It feels strange to say it out loud like that.

And after a bit of a rough year—leaving NYC, living with my parents, living in a new, very different town, meeting new people and moving to a new house—and some small academic set backs, we are all going forward with a plan customized just for him. It starts with Summer School and then goes into Speech Therapy and extra help sessions in the fall to work on a developmental delay and some attention issues.

And that’s it, he’s still the same Liam—the crazy kid who announced last night that he wants to name his future kids Johnny, Michael and Ultron (Ultron Mumford, poor guy….) But now we have a better understanding of how his mind works and how his body responds to that—and that understanding is the ultimate gift.

OK, that it. It’s all out there, I am pulling myself out of my rut and hoping nothing will stop me from writing again. And please share your stories if you have them I would love to hear from any parent out there.