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Wednesday, May 07, 2008 

Whew.

Most Gen X'rs hear the phrase "special ed" and they think of short buses, kids with severe disabilities....kids who struggled desperately in school and kids who got mercilessly teased.

Boy, how times have changed.

Cman has been referred for special services. No big surprise, considering that for the first 4 years of his life he had endless ear infections and a cholesteatoma. He's been evaluated for speech so many times, it's amazing he doesn't have half the testing memorized by now. But he *finally* has qualified for services. Can I get an amen?

The surprise of it all is what he was also referred to testing for....sensory processing disorder. I had suspected it for years, but accepted my guy for who he was, quirks and all. I decided to let him find his way and not pursue any testing until it became an issue. Imagine my surprise when the OT sent home a sensory survey after his fine motor testing last Friday. Maybe I did get that doctor degree in college after all. Heh.

It's an exciting process for all of us. Cman is thrilled to pieces he has something new to do in school. I am very excited that his teachers and school understand him and care for him enough to make all this happen. Mr. Chaos admits he understands very little of it, but that it will be good for Cman.

Mr. Chaos *also* admits he is scared for our boy. I have to admit I am, too. As he gets older, his quirks become more obvious. We are both concerned how this process will affect him socially. Right now he's the kid who moves to his own music; the kid who is oblivious to the fact that other types of music even exist. I am proud of the fact that he is comfortable in his own skin. The fact that he doesn't bend to peer pressure heartens me greatly. Yet he is a sensitive child, and cruel words will cut him deeply. Everyone's goal in the process is that we get him help before the teasing begins.

But...........whew. Seeing the words "special education" on his IEP form, well, it hurt a bit. I mean, I could whine and rail (and ok, I will). This kid has never had a break, y'know? First the spina bifida, then the cholesteatoma, and now a processing disorder? Not to mention that a sensory disorder usually dovetails with other learning and developmental issues such as dyspraxia, which he is showing some signs of. I know, I sound totally heartless when there are kids out there with cancer, or have severe disabilities, I know, I get it, ok? But I didn't plan on learning words like "myelomeningocele" and "cholesteatoma" and "dyspraxia" and "tactile defensive" when I started this parenting thing. I mean, "playgroup", sure. "Car seat" definitely. "Mastitis", maybe. And besides, those are someone else's kids and this one is *mine* and sometimes I just get pissed at the unfairness of it all. Not that he has any clue. In his mind life is fair and sunny.

So anyway, back on track after my rant. Mr. Chaos had a much harder time with all of this than I did. Yeah, it stung for me a bit to hear he has more disabilities, but again, these are things we can fix, or help him find ways to cope with his world. He will overcome it just like everything else in his life, with optimism and joy. I know this. But Mr. Chaos *really* had a difficult time accepting it all. It hit him hard.

Until yesterday. Yesterday was Cman's IEP meeting, and during that meeting we were told that Cman is being referred for additonal special ed testing. He was being referred for GT. I knew instantly what it was, and I was delighted, but Mr. Chaos steeled himself and said, "Dare I ask what GT is?" I don't think I can describe the look on his face when the staff told him it was gifted testing.

Yep, back to the original point, these days GT is special ed. Hee. I would have been special ed as a kid. Some say I still am, but that's a post for another day. So, lucky for Cman, he has a special ed mom, too. One who is excited with another parenting challenge. I've dutifully ordered a cadre of books from Amazon regarding SPD, and came home armed with several websites to whet my appetite for research until the books get here.

I am confident we'll all get through this. Labels and all.

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