Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Kindergarten Planning In Our Alternate Universe

It doesn’t matter how long you have been preparing yourself, how many times you have told yourself that it will be fine and you are prepared for what is to come, that you are doing what is best for your child.  When the time comes to confront your child’s challenges yet again, it HURTS. 

I remember Jack’s kindergarten transition, how nervous I was, how concerned I was that he didn’t have the services he needed (he didn’t) and that he would struggle a lot because of it (he did).  And now I know that relatively speaking, it was child’s play.  That experience was merely the training wheels for now.  The training wheels are off, and I find myself having a very difficult time coping.

Bottom line- I want my son to go to kindergarten.  I know that he can’t go- not to traditional kindergarten.  But right now, I am mourning this loss.  Even though I thought I had prepared myself.  I am angry, and I am devastated.  I am disappointed in myself, and all of the interventions and therapies that we have employed to help Nate.  We couldn’t get him there.  And God knows we tried.  I feel like a buzzer is going off “buzz!  Time’s up!”  Early intervention time is over, time to move on.  You had your chance and you blew it.

That’s not “what it is”, but right now, that’s what it feels like.   It’s hard to accept that these years of early intervention, these years that I was assured would be effective and I “wouldn’t even recognize my child in a year”, were unable to get him where he needed to be.  My kid is obviously not the only one, and we are super lucky to have the options that we do, but honestly, that doesn’t make it hurt any less.  I hurt for him, for what he doesn’t even know he’s missing.  I hurt for my husband, who would love to be able to coach a team for him and likely never will.  And yes, I feel sorry for myself.

I avoid moms who have kids Nate’s age, even friends who had babies at the same time I had Nate, especially when their kids are with them.  It is so incredibly painful- even if their child just interrupts a conversation “mommy, can I have this..?”  I can’t take it anymore.  It’s so incredibly, beautifully normal.  These kiddos are going to go to kindergarten and my beautiful perfect son will not.  They will be getting on a bus of their peers for the first time; my son has been taking a bus every single day since he was 3.  I ran into someone in the grocery store last week, her older son was in Jack’s preschool class when he was 3.  She has a daughter Nate’s age.  She was talking about the preschool, where her son continued to go, that her daughter is about to “graduate” from.  This weird feeling came over me.   It’s like I forgot it existed.  I forgot that world kept going when we had to bow out.  Nate never got to go to preschool.  I guess those other kids did- why this didn’t occur to me is beyond my comprehension.  We are living in an alternate universe over here.

We will be fine, I will be fine.  We will find a good program for Nate.  None of those things are in question at this point.  I just need to go through the process of letting this happen.  Of reacquainting myself yet again with what will be our “normal”.  I know that I would never want to subject Nate to typical kindergarten; it would be absolute torture for him at this point in his life.  But letting go of that dream, it’s just really hard.  No one will ever know what it’s like until they experience it.  See, there I go, trying to try to wrap a nice little bow around this post and end on a positive note.  You know what?  I’m not gonna do it.  THIS SUCKS.  


  1. I feel your pain. It is okay to feel that pain, no matter what anyone else tells you.

    It will get better, but it is hard when you are confronted with a time of life when other's are experiencing a big milestone (going to kindergarten, going to middle school, driving, going to college) Life is filled with these milestones and our kids just don't necessarily hit them with their peers.

    Part of my journey as a parent was to learn to accept that fact. I have found though that even though my daughter had to work really hard throughout grade school/ middle school, now that she is a teen she is closer to being on par with her peers. I am hoping that gap continues to close.

    Never Give Up

    God Bless

  2. It is hard not to compare your kid with others; but if you do it, remember all those kids with autism who are much worse affected. One tiny further genetic dysfunction and that could have been your kid.

    So many kids with mild problems are nowadays diagnosed with “autism” that the early intervention specialists are used to seeing many very young kids make stunning improvements and Moms write blogs about “recovery”. If you have the “old type” of autism, there are no quick fixes, just gradual improvements. It takes a lot of work and it never ends, but lots of tiny steps forwards can take you far.

    You are doing great that both parents can have full time jobs.