Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Fresh Start... Now My Head Won't Explode!

Another Intentional Thing crossed off for the New Year already has been a Fresh Start Academically for the Grandson, Prince R, so this is a Celebratory Post and I'll go a bit long I suspect!!!   *Smiles*  Winter Break is now over and so Monday he began studies for second semester at his New School Placement, an Academy near his High School Campus that Specializes in working with Children that do not thrive or learn in a Traditional Educational Setting.  Unlike obvious Disabilities, his type often requires that Mainstreaming the Child first be the Plan... and when that Plan fails dismally, only then can you receive more Options to accommodate the Disabilities.

Less Students equals more one-on-one Assistance and Guidance, as well as less Anxiety or Psychotic Break Episodes for him.  Which had been the results in him being in crowded or overcrowded conditions or expected to just Conform and act like a 'Normal' or 'Typical'  Kid, when he simply cannot Control his Condition.   All of the classes are Online and done at the Student's own Pace, with regards to their IEP Needs, less hours to the School Day and no Homework... so a lot less Overwhelming for him and for us.  The Staff are Trained to deal with Special Needs Children who have Emotional, Behavioral and/or Mental Health Challenges and Issues that could be, and usually are, a barrier to their Educational Process in a Traditional High School Setting. 

Unlike regular Special Ed which might deal with a Child who has completely different sets of Educational Needs, due to forms of Mental Retardation or extreme Physical Disabilities, or more Obvious Disability to the naked eye, this is a Program that better suits Children like him.  Children who often have more Hidden Disabilities not easy to just see or understand and thus evoke Compassion or Tolerance and make it easier to Receive Modified Curriculum they can handle.  Who are often exceedingly Bright, Gifted and capable of Receiving Standard Education, but certainly have significant Issues as well and needs to be Taught differently and Understood.  Children who usually don't Learn or Behave quite like everyone else and therefore usually can't or don't Mainstream well and risk Failure if Forced to.  But who also don't belong in regular Special Ed Settings either since thier Needs are completely different and specific to their diagnosed Disabilities and particular Challenges.
  Finally after almost a decade of being Schooled and often Failing dismally because he is how he is, he has a place suited to meet him at his particular Point of Need so he can Succeed Academically and not be considered an Outcast or a Problem Child!   Always receiving Negative feedback and being made to Feel bad about the way he was Created, which only worsened his Clinical Depression and self loathing... my Hope is that now he will have a more Positive and Enriching Educational Process to help him realize his Dreams for the Future!   Since the Regular High School Campus is right next door he can still also participate in his Band and other after School extracurricular Activities for the Socialization aspect.  Which is also so critical during the Teen years, to find one's place in Life, spend time with Friends and connect with Kindred Spirits from a broader pool of Individuals... and expect to Graduate with his peers when that time comes.

This also means that now my head won't explode!   *Whew!*   No longer will I have to Endure and receive those incessant, stressful, insensitive, disheartening and irritating phone calls and requested Meetings from Teachers telling me everything that is wrong with my Seriously Mentally Ill Grandchild, and how he 'Is'!  As if that's somehow a Revelation I haven't considered, that he's uniquely 'Different' and a particular Challenge.   Like I don't already know this Child I've Raised since Infancy and dealt with every step of the way and every day of his Life as he's Maturing and Dealing with his Chronic Issues and Treatments twenty-four-seven!

  No longer will I be asked to try to 'Fix' a Child that in my opinion has never been 'Broken' and is simply Living Life with a Lifetime Disability that has no Cure, the best as he and we can.   No longer will I be asked to do the Impossible and somehow Change him, as if I could wave some Magic Wand over him to make him Well and like all the other Kiddos that aren't Mentally Ill, so that he won't be as High Maintenance and so that a little bit of him won't go such a long way!   If I COULD make him Well, Trust and Believe that I would have DONE so already by any means possible!!!   But what they've been asking for is like asking the Loved Ones of a Child confined to a Wheelchair to just make them get up and Walk for Heaven's Sake because the Educators are Fed Up with the Crippling Disability and it's such an Inconvenience to everybody else!  It's Cruel and Insensitive to even remotely suggest that is possible for the Family to do and I got so Fed Up of and Angry at being asked to continually as if I had a Solution and was simply with-holding it!
No longer will I have to feel like the Image above as I send him off to School every day with the best Encouragement I can muster for him... as I Entrust him to the Public School System that seemed Clueless about the Nature of his Illness and reacted as if he could Control it or did certain things on Purpose that are the Nature of what Afflicts him.  To Trust he's receiving appropriate Guidance and Consideration from Educators who have probably never had the Understanding nor the Training to even know what to do with or for him to help him Succeed... and just seemed frustrated and upset to have to?!   And not just write him off as 'Unteachable' or someone else's 'Problem' that they'd rather not have to deal with or have other Children exposed to because of Social Biases, Discrimination and Stigmas that still exist regarding Mental Illness and against those Afflicted.

I'm Hopeful that in this more Appropriate, Nurturing and Accepting Setting he will finally have some Peace, some Hope, some Encouragement and be able to Thrive!  To fit in and not Feel like so much of a Misfit of Society that those things that everybody else Dreams of are out of his reach, unattainable and aren't for him.  Perhaps he won't be quite so Gloomy, Depressed or a Threat to himself if he Feels he has a Bright and Promising Future to look forward to, that is Validated by more than just me, his Grandmother!   Sometimes he thinks I say these things because I have to, because Grandmas always think all of their Grandchildren are Amazing, Beautiful and Brilliant.  Well, we do think that, but we don't say those things because we have to, we say it because we Honestly Believe it to be ABSOLUTE TRUTH!  I know that he is what they call a 'Beautiful Mind', tested at Genius on many levels of Acadamia, and yet Failing just about every Traditional Class that he was put in to attempt to Mainstream him.  He was frustrated, we were frustrated and seeking Solutions and Options continually.

But it was an uphill battle with the Public School System and we couldn't afford Private Schools... there was always interferance being run so as not to have to find Alternative Placement because there are so few openings available and a long waiting list for Acceptance into these Programs Designed for Children like him and which cost considerably more.   I realize Funding is scarce and unreliable year to year, so it's a fight for every seat because there is more Need than there are Placements so Children languish on long waiting lists to get in.  So I fought very long and hard to have him Receive this Opportunity and it's a Relief to finally give him this Chance.  To Prepare him for the Change and make him realize what a Blessing and Opportunity it Truly is in a Good way for him... so take it Seriously and to see it as a Positive Placement and not another Negative one.  To do as well as he can and be Confident for his Future being Bright.  You see, in my mind it is a Pay Now or Pay Later scenario for Society regarding these Kids.. if the Needs of Children like this are not met, at what Cost to Society as a whole will it eventually be anyway?

I've always been fully Convinced that this is a Child whose Beautiful Mind thinks so far outside of the box and out in left field that he will likely be Destined to do something very Special in Life and Aspire to Greatness... to Invent something... or many things... that will benefit Mankind as well as put him in Purpose to do what The Creator Intended when He Created him to be as he 'Is'.   I do not Believe my God makes Mistakes... I may not have full Understanding regarding many of the Mysteries, and a helluva lot of Questions without Answers this side of Time and Eternity, but I have Faith and Trust in God's Plan for each of us being Greater than any of us.

 I Celebrate my Grandson's differences even though to be sure they come with a heavy load of baggage to have to deal with at the same time and we often struggle with the complexity of how to Raise such a Special Child Successfully to Adulthood and beyond.  Because those like him are certainly complex Personalities and often struggle with being Tortured Souls and Tormented in spite of their Brilliance and Gifts they have to offer this World.   I Love and Accept him Unconditionally... I just Wish most of the rest of the World could find it in their Hearts to also one day.

  Yes... I know I went over my 10 Image Limit Today but Clearly I had a lot to say Unedited!  And I'm still a Work in Progress as well!!!  *LOL*
Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

1 comment:

  1. Dawn, what a beautiful testament of love for your grandson. I'm sure he knows how much you love him and I will pray that society sees him as that wonderful child of God he is and sees him as YOU see him - bright and gifted.
    My son has an IEP for his ADHD - Inattentive type and it can certainly be a struggle to witness him not perform well academically while knowing how bright he is. Hold on to your strength and your convictions. :)


A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl