New School Year – New Hopes

20 09 2011

With the new school starting, there are more pressures for children who have special needs and for their parents.  Adjustments, getting needed supports and accommodations, working through struggles associated with school (homework, socialization).  Our son was diagnosed with ADHD when he was five years old.  Every year at conference times the teacher would say something like, “Chris has a bit of trouble paying attention.”  I felt like answering, “Oh, I hadn’t noticed.”  Or “Well, that makes the 50th teacher who’s told me that.”  Thankfully, the Lord helped me respond in a God-honoring way.  So often I longed to hear the teacher acknowledge how hard Chris was trying…That he had to work harder at paying attention, at being organized, at making friends.  I wished they would see his love for the Lord, and his desire to memorize scripture. 

I’m certain there are Christian teachers who pray a prayer similar to the following:

For the Parents of a Struggling Child

 

Father,

They come to the parent-teacher conference

Warily,

Wearily,

Knowing full well

What they’re not going to hear.

They won’t hear that their son is in the top reading group,

Or that he’s a whiz at math,

Or that his penmanship is flawless,

Or that he’s entering the science fair,

Or that he was last to sit down

At the spelling bee.

But, Father,

Let them hear what I have to say.

Let them hear

That even though school is hard for him

(and probably always will be),

He never gives up.

He struggles on until he gets it,

And what he’s learned, he’s earned;

It’s his to keep.

Let them hear

That this report card doesn’t mean

Their son’s not good enough.

Rather, this standard of measurement

Isn’t good enough to measure him.

Father,

Let me say

And let them hear

That he’s as fine and brave and good a person

As ever I’ve met.

They came this evening

Warily,

Wearily.

Let them go home satisfied

And proud.

What do you wish teachers knew about your child or you?





Kindred Hearts

9 09 2011

Do you have a child with special needs?  If so, we’re walking a similar path.  Your child may or may not have the same special needs as my son.  I invite you to read my profile to find out what special needs my son has.  But I imagine you have to work harder at parenting than parents who don’t have a child with special needs. That assumption is based on the comments I heard from fellow parents of special needs children when I led a parent support group, when I was an administrator in a Christian school, when I was a second grade teacher, and when I was a special ed. teacher.  Let’s begin to get to know one another. 

How would you finish this sentence?

Being a parent of a special needs child…