|Lex got lots of love from his Pop and Nan|
I recently returned from a really beautiful five days in Australia with my little love, Lex. It’s the first time we’ve split the family in two, but I knew it was important for all of us to have some time apart, so we could remember to appreciate each other when we got back together. The boys missed each other painfully, but I was thrilled to share my Dad’s 70th with my lovely son, although we both missed Jax and Steve.
I have to send a special shout out to Dad, Janet, Anna, Brett, Hamish, Angus and Jen – thank you all for giving my little dude so much love, and by default, helping build his confidence. That’s what it’s all about with Lex and I appreciate it more than you could ever know. Big kisses and hugs to all of you.
Anyways, I get off the plane Tuesday night and decide to check my emails – stupid idea. The first email I read was from the school we’ve been hoping to get Lex into and they said he didn’t match their “profile.” What the fuck does that mean? Well we’ve had some back and forth and from what I can tell, it doesn’t mean bloody anything.
|The Awesome Elliot Clan!|
But we’re stumped, because the reality is, we feel like we’re out of options. This was a school – designed exactly for someone like Lex – and it would have given us a good staging ground to move him up into the same school as Jax within a year or two.
Alas it’s not to be, and while initially I said to Steve: “don’t worry about it love. Let’s detach from the outcome and wait and see what happens. We know he’s fine, but perhaps there’s a better option around the corner, but we just can’t see it yet?”
Then it started sinking in and last night I tossed and turned and tossed and turned, stewing, stewing, stewing, because the reality is, there is no other place I can see for Lex right now. The mainstream or “normal” international education system seems to have an exclusionary policy when it comes to any child with any challenge what-so-ever. The special needs system is perfect for kids with long-term special needs, but for kids who have challenges in-the-meantime, I just don’t believe it’s the right environment – wait let me clarify – I don’t believe it’s the right environment for Lex. I can’t speak for other parents.
Long ago I came to a conclusion that children today seemed to be defined into two buckets – “normal” kids and “special” kids.
But you know what, in the middle of those two categories are a whole host of other bloody kids that fit neither left nor right, up nor down, but they’re still awesome and just need the education system to give them a bloody break and make space for them to grow in a way that suits THEM. I mean, we’re even willing to pay for that. Many simply cannot or it’s just not available to them.
|Aunty Jen instructing in Marshmallow Roasting Techniques|
I can’t tell you how much it concerns me where the world is going in regards to how we’re assessing children today. I know that sometimes it’s completely relevant to assess a child to ensure you are able to provide the support they need. But when you have a child where an assessment is not label-able it is very challenging. Oh and if you’re wondering, Lex has been assessed multiple times and has no definable issue other than needing time to catch up – just in case you were wondering.
The one thing that does help me – and also helps me detach from the outcome – is a supreme confidence that when Lex is all grown up into a hunky man, he will be the best at whatever it is he chooses to do – because Lex has magic in him. The challenge is we just can’t seem to get anyone in the education system to see it, because he’s not ticking all of the “normal” boxes, and yet, neither is he ticking the “special” boxes.
He’s in undefined territory – SHITE how do you deal with that? Well you don’t, you just reject them.
|A pre-flight boarding selfie|
So we sit and contemplate, with no idea what to do next. Steve and I know we have to continue on our prolonged journey of heartbreak (it’s really hard when your child is rejected let me tell you) and the only thing that keeps us going is a supreme belief that our little man is awesome now and he’s going to be crack-a-lacking as a man.
It’s just very hard to stay detached from the outcome right now…
Yours, without the bollocks