Giving up the idea that my situation is different.
This school year I am determined not to sit and wonder “why my son?” and actually just embrace the learning experience that I am gaining from this. It’s so funny how I never considered myself a very strong willed person let alone an advocate. When I was younger I never stood up for myself, I just went along with the flow and whoever people said I was, was pretty much the identity I took on. Having the opportunity to advocate for my son has actually become a huge confidence booster which actually helps me resist an identity that people give me. Advocating for my son I had to learn not to let people (even people who care for and love him) label him the way they think is his identity. Yes, my son has certain traits and characteristics that might identify him with certain groups but I don’t want him to be who people say he has to be because of his special education supports. I also don’t want the services to be considered negative or “bad words”.
Now, with all that being said I am determined that we will get to a point where his special education supports will not be as necessary as they are now. When I say “giving up the idea that my situation is different” means not being in denial about what is going on and addressing the situation that we are in now, and does not mean that I don’t keep researching and discovering the how, the why, and the how do we manage it all. I feel like understanding and coming to grips with the circumstances that are going on in one’s life is half the battle.
The biggest battle I want advocates to learn in their own journey is, please do not let the child fall through the cracks. I have seen first-hand from previous ED (emotional disturbance) classrooms that my son has been in, how putting children with all different types of emotional disturbances and different levels of emotional disturbance can actually hinder and create more challenges that weren’t originally there. I know some schools and districts are limited on resources. You as that child’s advocate are their best resource. Stop asking “why me, why us, why them?” Start asking “how can I be a resource for their continuous growth.”
This week I challenge you to let go of any denial and any negative ideas about special education. Make a list of all the negative thoughts and misconceptions and write down a rebuttal ex.) My child will be labeled VS. I’m more concerned about their personal development than what’s on paper or what people may say.
“‘Why me?’ Rarely produces a positive result, while ‘How can I use this?’ usually leads us in the direction of turning our difficulties into a driving force to make ourselves and the world better.” Tony Robbins