We had Lex’s parent teacher interview today. These sessions used to fill Steve and me with dread. Not because we didn’t believe in our little guy, but because we never seemed to be able to get the answers to the questions we always had, like: “how can we help him?” Always our least favorite, because it’s only ever been met with “we seriously just don’t know.”
|With some rickshaw uncles in Vietnam|
That’s what happens when your kid doesn’t fit into a specific learning gap or specific need. It also appears to be what happens when no one really understands what the hell is going on with a speech delayed child – for reasons other than autism.
But Lex knew. He just wanted the world to give him love AND time to catch up. Not being able to hear properly from the first year of your life – with no one being able to diagnose the issue until you are close to four – well who knows what he missed? We don’t know. We’ve never known. The specialists haven’t known either.
The only thing we have known is Lex is smart, a bloody hard worker, insanely curious, he’s got a massive heart, and he’s full of ambition. But he doesn’t like to look silly, and he certainly never likes to be embarrassed. That’s been a big part of helping him how heneeds to be helped, because it’s critical we respect and understand who he is.
It’s been a long road and today we went into the session to hear that his lowest score was 82% – for reading fluency. The other scores were 93% for spelling and 91% for maths. Incredible right? I don’t recall the rest of the scores, because all I could think about was at the same time last year, they couldn’t guarantee he’d actually move up a year. He was struggling too much.
But they did move him up, and we only found that out during the school concert, at which point Steve and I both burst into tears – bless!
|Ain’t no mountain high enough|
I found that really hard. He started school behind, but being in the same year as his younger brother is something I’m happy to live with. He missed out on a lot from a young age, so if staying down a year is the worst that comes from it in the long run, so be it. But being in a year below his younger brother? I struggled with that idea, mainly because of the potential impact on his self-esteem in the later years of school.
Alas we didn’t face that and here we were today hearing the most wonderful news. We also have to accept that he’ll probably need to be at that school for another year. While that’s not our preference (nor his, because there are no girls in his class and he’s desperate to kiss the pretty girls) we can do another year. We’ve come this far and it’s good for him right now.
The only thing that’s ever mattered is Lex coming out the other side awesome – as we always knew he would.
I admire both of my boys so much, but Lex took the cake this week. He’s a rock star today, and I’m just so bloody proud of my little guy. My word he’s earned it.
To other parents out there with speech delayed kids, keep the faith in your munchkins. They’ll eventually come good (with a lot of love and patience) and in their own unique way, show the world you were right. It’s not an easy journey, but on days like today, it all feels worthwhile.
Yours, without the bollocks