Steve and I are back from dropping Lex off at his new school – Excelerate – and our little love walked in without even turning back – which was a relief – but it still left Steve and I in tears. It’s emotionally intense stuff this parenting job, but especially so when you have a little lad with special needs right now and a traditional education system that doesn’t want to support those needs. When Lex was kicked out of his school and we started our school hunt, we were left with two choices – mainstream, where we’d probably face the same shite again, or pure special needs, something we know would make Lex intensely unhappy. He’s not a special needs kids, he’s just got some special needs right now, and those needs are very specific.
We think we’ve found it – the only place in Singapore run by speech and occupational therapists – designed to help kids like Lex catch up with their speech, learn how to manage their emotions in an appropriate way, and at the end of it, he graduates and there’s no more bollocks going into mainstream. He’ll just be like any other five year old kid having a bad day sometimes.
The last few months have been intensely challenging, because we wanted to find a place that was going to work for him but everywhere we went, we knew it wasn’t right. We needed an option in the middle and somehow (thanks to Google) we came across Excelerate and knew this was our middle ground. It’s a system that helps each child individually, with the aim that when they graduate, they’re ready for mainstream education. We know Lex is going to thrive – he’s working so bloody hard to speak, and his emotional outbursts are less and less – so now we just hope he enjoys it enough to want to go every day.
We need this to work. We want to be able to talk to our darling boy and hear what he has to say. We need to be able to reason with him and we can’t do that if he doesn’t understand us. We need him to fit into the normal world as much as he can and not suffer any more bollocks. We need him to be able to communicate verbally because the world is not designed for people who communicate in any other way. We need him to be happy and confident in himself so he can get out there and take on the world. We need him to catch up now because soon kids his age will start laughing at him, and our sensitive little man will take that to heart – we need to protect him from that and the only way we can is to help him to speak. We just need him to be OK and happy and confident. That’s all we want.
This chapter in Lex’s life has been so bloody hard. He’s such a sweetheart, and in the long run, we know he’s going to be absolutely fine, but having faced so many setbacks along the way (Lex and us as a family)we have everything crossed that this is it. The problem is it’s hard having confidence in your decisions when it comes to kids like Lex because, 1. so many of the decisions we’ve made don’t appear to be the “right” ones, and 2. There’s no one to give you any decent guidance to help you make the right choices. Oh there are plenty of people who have opinions, but no one who really knows what we’re dealing with. So today we hope this is the right decision – the decision that is going to help him move forward and as a result, give our whole family some peace of mind.
We’ve just got everything crossed that this is it, because I don’t know how much more disruption and change we can deal with, and I certainly cannot take another rejection when it comes to Lex. I know he hasn’t been easy, but all he needs is time and patience now – please let this be the right decision?
Yours, without the bollocks