Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Bucking The System

Tomorrow is a big day around our home for four reasons, yes four. First, my mother is visiting us for the first time in this home. My parents don't like to stay overnight away from home so this is a big event. David is very excited about giving up his new bed for grandma—which means he will sleep on his old mattress in our room.

Tomorrow is also the last day of school. The last three days of school are half days and tomorrow is going to be wild. I remember the last day of school and papers flying out of lockers and will be having a talk with David about this before he heads off for school.

Tomorrow I will turn (gulp) 45, not 47 as my husband so rudely told a co-worker. My friend Stacy is making me a birthday cake today, so we can share with my mother and friends that have a permanent before-church dinner invitation. I am so thankful for Stacy being willing to add my cake to her list—just last week she made a cake and cupcakes for a preschool graduation and lots of cupcakes for a wedding. My secret sister gave me some cute ice cream plates, bowls that I think I will use to decorate my front entry table next week.

My husband gave me a digital picture frame. I had been wanting one of these for almost a year, so I am very excited. The ones I had always seen were more sleek and modern than I like. The frame he found has an interchangeable frame and we are using the more traditional cherry wood frame. My son gave me a Blogging for Dummies book. I looked for a book like this when I started my blog six months ago and couldn't find one—you may see some changes in the look after I read it.

Tomorrow will also be the first year anniversary of David coming home from the treatment hospital. This is a big deal for us since we were told that he should not return home, but be placed in a more tight facility. We were told he would never make it in public school no matter the support that was given. When asked, the therapist admitted that this recommendation was not based on what was best for David, but on those who would have to deal with him. Us—his parents, the community and the school system.

First, since when has any parenting been easy? If you want easy, don't have kids. Yes, it has been hard, I have spent as much time dealing with David's school issues as most people spend at a part-time job. But, the big payoff will come tomorrow when not only did he stay in a regular public school for the entire school year, but he is growing and learning. He will have earned his graduation to the eighth grade and he often tells us "we learned about this is school..." then launches into more details. He has grown in maturity and just this past Monday his one-on-one was not at school, but the report came back that he did very well. All on his own!

What saddens me is that I know we are not the only parents who are being told this and many others are following the "expert's" advice. If we had not pushed we would never have been told "no it was not in David's best interest to send him away, only ours and society." It was presented that if we loved him we would do this. Sometimes this might be the case, it was necessary for us to do this in order to get David's medication to what it needed to be. But, once the medication was where they felt it needed to be, how could we not give him a chance to prove himself?

When we see employees of the treatment center around town they are amazed at how well David is doing. One even had heard of the progress before he saw David, so there has been much talk about him. I would love to be a fly on the wall as they discuss the progress David has made. I imagine they continue to stress it has only been a short time and predict dire long-term results. But, David is getting better and not worse. But, no matter which way the long-term results go, we are happy with our decision and for giving David the chance that all children deserve.


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Kim. Enjoy your company and your day. I could tell you that you aren't old but then I do understand that every additional digit to that number is scary for all of us. But 45 seems young when I'm staring 61 in the face.
David's story is really amazing. You gave him a chance and it has paid off. He is so blessed to be the recepient of your sacrifices.
Rita in Oly

Kim said...

I know 45 isn't that old, but I still don't want to add 2 years in one day.
David had another great day yesterday without any one-on-one. I know it was hard, but he is slowly proving both himself and others that he can do it.
We are very blessed to have the head of special education here. He really is committed to getting the best services for the kids under his care. Shortly after the school year began I had to e-mail and speak with him on the phone and he was very prompt and effective in supporting us.

Susie said...

kim, i hope you find the blogging for dummies book useful! i never thought it might end up being a birthday present... happy birthday!

susannah gardner.

Kim said...

Thanks for stopping by Susie. I can't wait to dive into your book. My husband is very impressed (and jealous) that you paid me a visit. My sweet hubby is the one who has been helping me with my editing and layout of my blog so far.