Wednesday, April 18, 2012

All I Want for The Boy

The Turning 5 process for parents of Special Needs children is tough.  And this year has been even tougher.  We're in the process all over again...

And I thought back to this post I wrote last year.  When I was in the midst of applying to schools, filling out applications and hoping for the best, ugh - I mean the most appropriate. 

Anyway, several applications asked this question:

What are your long term concerns and wishes for your child?

This is my answer -  

Our greatest concern is that we won't be able to secure the most appropriate academic environment to meet Norrin's needs.  What if there isn't a school that can nurture his strengths as well as his weaknesses?  And if we can't find a school that can nuture his strengths as well as support his weaknesses - how will that impact his future? 

We know for many parents, mainstream is the holy grail.  That does not matter to us. We are realistic about what he can and can't do.  If mainstream is a possibility, fine. And if not - then that's fine too. 

We would never want to push him into an environment where he may be set up to fail. We know that he's bright and that he has the capacity to learn.  We don't need general education to prove that. 

Norrin doesn't need to be the popular kid. But if he wants friendship, we want him to have the tools to develop one.

We just want him to be happy.  To feel good about himself.  To enjoy his life. To be productive.   

We want Norrin to be himself and know that he's okay.  We want him to know that he doesn't need to be cured or fixed.  Norrin is a lovable little boy with a charming smile.  He is fast on his feet, he has a quirky sense of humor, his laugh is infectious.  And we never want him to lose the qualities that make him special.  

We hope that as he gets older, people will appreciate him just as he is.  We hope people will want to understand him.  All we want is for him to have a place in this world.  All we want for him is to have the same opportunities as any one else. 

Isn't this what all parents want for their children?

What do you want for your child?

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AutismWonderland - written by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez - is a personal blog chronicling a NYC family's journey with autism, while also sharing local resources for children/families with special needs.