By What Measure?

School is back in session.  Lee County starts early.

The summer was long for the boys and I.  Riley was with me throughout the summer months except for the few hours set  aside for the Extended School Year in June.  Camp is no longer an option.  There are special needs summer camps, but Riley is too special to qualify.   Ronan had two sports camp experiences: riding with Naples Equestrian Challenge and John Robinson’s Soccer Camp. We enrolled him in a local Tae Kwon Do, Eagle Martial Arts, academy where he earned a green stripe. He spent time on art, reading and handwriting and naturally as much video gaming as he could.

The weekday hours with Riley are challenging.  I adore him so and want his day full and productive.  Each day melted away in long meal times, diaper changes and laundry.  Rarely did I manage real therapy with him.  In between there were a few games and long reading sessions with Ronan.  I just never feel quite adequate to pull it all together.  As school resumes, it is time to work on myself… first I must decide exactly what that involves.

As we went through the motions preparing for the school year and attending the open houses, my first concern was to see my children settled in the best possible environments.  Ronan begins Third Grade.  As usual, I wondered if I did enough at home to keep him stimulated and improving.  Is he truly in the appropriate school environment?  I worry that he deserves much more challenge than he receives and will become disinterested in his education.

Then there is Riley!  I advocated all through last year to have him remain at his current school and not move to the middle school.  How many mothers consider keeping their child back in Fifth Grade a success?  I chose to keep my own child back; how do I reconcile this even with myself? All I knew, is that Rayma has a healthy environment for my child and the middle school he would have moved to is not as promising.  His teacher moved away, but she trained her own replacement, continuing to build a dynamic ESE program.

I had to explain this to Ronan as we traveled around to the separate campuses.  Ronan may fully accept his brother, but he does not discern the full reality behind my different expectations for them.  I am not sure I fully understand my reasons myself.  Many special needs parents continue to place their nonverbal children in learning and religious environments to have them participate as fully as possible.  Would it really be participation if I tried to have Riley sit through a lecture rather than music therapy and circle time?

How do I decide on the best choices for my sons?  By what measure to I view their successes?

Rainy Fourth of July celebration, sparklers for everyone.

Rainy Fourth of July celebration, sparklers for everyone.

One Response to By What Measure?

  1. rita says:

    Because of you Riley is with music, outings, laughter and bright colors and people who love him. Ronan always will proclaim loudly when asked how is school and what he has been up to as “GREAT!” Well done, Stacie.

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