Thursday, November 20, 2014

The other side of the table

Sometimes I hate my job.  I know too  much, see too much, understand the impacts too much.  Then there are days that I feel like that enables me to do both parts of my life better. 

This past Tuesday, we had parent teacher conferences at school.  I am in a very, very low income school, with a heavy Hispanic population.  Most of my kids have no opportunity aside from what we provide.  I have 6 kids with Autism on my caseload, none of whom have apraxia, and then I have 2 kids with Apraxia also.  I had most of my meetings Tuesday for my K and my 2 2nd graders with ASD. I was able to emphatize with all of them more than I ever have before.  There is a new boy in K who just arrived from Puerto Rico.  He has an ASD and is nonverbal.  In addition, he really makes no eye contact, does not point, or mimic, or engage really at all.  He is almost 6.  The mom just moved here from PR looking for better.  Are we better? Not sure, but I felt for her.  She was crying at the meeting, saying she just wants him to talk.  I told her I get that and we will work very hard for him to learn to communicate, but obviously, he has to start at the pre verbal stage. 

Another parent of my favorite kiddo ever came.  He was nonverbal at age 5 and now I have to tell him all the time to be quiet, take his turn, wait to speak, etc.  He is 7.  He is struggling with academics now and has no ability to understanding what to talk about, how to greet others, etc, but he has come SO far. Right after that meeting was my other baby with ASD.  He struggles across the board, but less so socially.  Mom teared up speaking about him, saying he has taught her so much, that she is who she is because of him. She is so strong for him. He did not speak until 4.  He cracks me up now- his favorite word is awkward and he always says "it never gets old" for everything.  He is a great boy.  Both these last two boys parents came at the same time, so I introduced them and remarked how well their boys get along and is pretty much their only friend.  They exchanged numbers and one mom remarked that she "feels so alone."  I get that.  I feel alone too. So alone.  I love that maybe they won't feel quiet that alone after this.

I have a meeting coming up for Landon on 12/2.  Then I will sit on the other side of the table and hear all the things my baby struggles with.  It is so hard.  Life isn't fair at all.  God Bless all us parents trying to do the best we can for our kids.

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