Nianya's Search Engine

Custom Search

Photo of the Day

Photo of the Day
Anything is Possible if you Dare to Dream

August 16, 2008

Pulling my Hair Out . . .

I have been so stressed out for the past few weeks, I'm surprised I'm not bald.

I spent the first 6 months of the year concentrating on my goal of getting in shape and collecting all the accessories I needed to photograph our Grand Canyon trip. Once the trip was over, I came back and my "normal" life resumed: my life as a mother of not one, but two special needs children.

For years, I have gone from one crisis to another without focusing on both my children's needs at the same time.

Last year, we narrowly avoid having to deal with two IEPs, by enrolling our son in his former Montessori School after his issues forced us to withdraw him from charter school Kindergarten after less than 3 days. He could not function in the charter school without modifications, we couldn't get the necessary modifications without going through the 3-month IEP process and we've been fighting to enforce our autistic daughter's IEP for three years now.

I was appalled that the school expected our son to be able to read at least 100 site words by the end of his first semester of Kindergarten. Supposedly, the 100-site-word rule is mandated. That's all well and good for most children, but completely out of the question for a severely ADHD, probably dyslexic child with autistic tendencies.

My 6-year-old can build anything from Lego's, he puts together model toys meant for kids twice his age, he loves art and he's very bright in math, but he can't read squat.

So this year, I'm not only paying private tuition to keep him in Montessori elementary school, but I have to hire a tutor to teach him how to read.

Major de ja vu.

We went through the same issues with our daughter 7 years ago. When she entered 4th grade she was reading on a pre-K level. We finally cried uncle that year, pulled her out of Montessori, got her a full IEP and put her in pubic school where we save thousands on resource services and private tutoring.

Now we're back between a rock and a hard place with her brother. We can't afford private tuition and tutoring, but we want to keep him in Montessori, where he can excel in other subjects, like math and science.

If we move him to public school, he will get the reading resources he needs for free, but he will be bored out of his skull with a regular first grade curriculum and, when he gets bored, he gets into trouble. He's a budding Malcolm in the Middle.

At the same time, we are once again going through the entire process of renewing our 12.5-year-old daughter's IEP. The school is fighting her autism diagnosis and would like to drop her speech therapy; we're fighting to get back the resource hours, which they cut in half last year, because we're concerned that she will not be able to mainstream when she enters high school in two years; and we're having to learn to live with the widening social gap, which she faces as she enters her teen years. Most of her peers don't understand her inability to socialize. She's like an 8-year-old in a 14-15-year-old's body.

As for me, I'm have to deal with both kids' issues, while working full time and suffering from very painful and persistent cysts. I'm going to need a wig soon.