Okay, lets be honest. If you are a parent of a child with special needs reading this you may relate to what i am about to say. If you are a parent of a 'typicaly' developing child you may have never really thought about what I am about to say.
Noam Started school last week! We made a decision to mainstream him full time. A dream come true! Dreams are something people usually have for years and years. This dream has been mine for six years now! This time last year I was not sure it the 'dream' would become a reality. It has.
Many people may believe that Noam should be in a special school.. previous comments that have come my way sound a little something like this. "I am happy for there to be kids like Noam in my child's class, as long as they are fully supported so they don't take anything away from my child' .....................
We are all selfish when it comes to our children and so we should be.
As i spent the holidays shopping for school uniforms, name tags, lunch boxes and the list is endless I didn't have the same excitement as many of my friends! Not only was i nervous and anxious, I was prettified and emotional. Like many others around me my baby, my first born son was starting prep at the local primary school. The only thing that set me apart from them was the fact that my son happens to have Down Syndrome.
I wont lie and say that the past six years haven't been challenging. There have been sad and hard times but most of all I have celebrated a life that to this day astounds me, makes me proud and challenges me in every amazing way possible!
I spent the later part of 2011 listening to people around choose schools and talk about the next transition in their child's life as this major event (which yes it is). The major concern for most seemed to be the schools demographic. Stories after stories of which school is closer to home, which one has more people they know. blah blah blah... I was agonising over special or mainstream school. Will my child be able to attend mainstream how much aid time they will be given, meetings before school started, chats to the and the list goes on and on and on! WIll my child be at school when i go to pick him up as he has a tendency to abscond?! Oh gee i think i could sit here all night and list off. What I do understand now is that life brings challenges and emotions to everyone! It's all 'relative'.
Three weeks in
It has been three weeks since school started. We have had our ups and downs. I have had my moments of 'this just isn't going to work' and WOW this kid can do this. I feel blessed to have the support of an amazing school and I have come to realise that I am not alone in my worrying. In Noam's school, there are three other children with Down Syndrome. It's hard to explain but walking through those gates and knowing I am truly not alone takes my life to a whole knew level.