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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Life with Jacob

Kindergarten Registration

We registered Jacob for Kindergarten.  
It was a miserable experience.  
This is what I wrote in my journal:
"I just returned from Kindergartner registration.  They had an assessment where the teachers asked the incoming Kindergartners to write their names, identify letters and numbers and count.  Jacob couldn’t do anything without some serious prompting from me.  It is so discouraging.  I feel like I’m failing as a mother.  What could I do more?  Read to him more?  Spend more one-on-one time with him?  'Drill and Kill' his letters and numbers? It seems like this is just the beginning of a really long journey through the education process.

Some days it is really hard to find the hope that he will live a productive life.  I know being able to read and write is just one aspect of this life—but it is kind of important. 

When the school secretary asked me my teacher preference, all I could do was imagine him in a classroom.  How will he find success?  Will peers make fun of him?  Will he be a distraction? I pray that his teacher will have the patience that even I, as his mother, sometimes struggle to have."

Is it any coincidence that when I returned home I got an email from his current Early Intervention Pre-School teacher?  She tells me that Jacob is making progress.  She wrote,

He has been working really hard on his shapes (oval and rectangle)... He is working on top/bottom; before/after and together/apart. We have been talking about seasons this week. He is such a character. He likes to help others. Fun to work with.”

 I am grateful for teachers who help Jacob.  
I am grateful when they get a glimpse of the great kid he is.

 The Dentist

I was very nervous to take Jacob to the dentist.  His mouth is extremely sensitive and he gags easily.  The dentist, however, was so impressive.  He took the time to learn about Jacob and to discuss his condition with me.  His office was clean, orderly, and the assistance were helpful.  Jacob did great.  He does have a cavity but the dentist assured me he could help Jacob relax through the procedure without a problem.
I am grateful for professionals who do their jobs well.

A Birthday Party

Jacob was invited to a birthday party for a girl in his special needs class.  I was hesitant, but decided to let him go. When I dropped him off at the park I was instantly concerned about the lack of structure and the apparent lack of realization that half a dozen special needs kids at an open park might present some challenges.  Clearly the other Moms were concerned too.  We all stayed to make sure our child would not run off, or get scared, or get hurt, or have a melt down.  It was a reminder to me that I have learned to live in a different world.  Jacob has changed the way we live and how we function.  I am suddenly aware of my environment. I'll rarely leave home without my bag of tools.  Have I packed his blanket, iPad, snacks to chew on? All of these tools help him remain calm and regulated.  I've learned to anticipate situations and make concession so that Jacob and everyone around him can thrive. 
I am grateful for the knowledge I've gained about how to help Jacob be successful.

Smiles and Laughs

 With all his challenges, Jacob is a joy.  He is quick to smile and his laugh is contagious. He finds joy in the simple things of life. He says the funniest things and life is more entertaining when he is around.  He is a sweet boy with a sensitive spirit.  He gives hugs and kisses and is concerned about the people around him.  He's a great helper and I see sparks of genius in his eyes.
I am grateful for Jacob and all that he is teaching me.



  1. oh, Megan! I love that boy! You are going great and dealing with a lot:)

  2. ok. Jacob is so awesome. We love him so much. He is so happy, so loving, so friendly, so helpful, so kind. I know it must be frustrating, but you are doing so much more than parents of special needs kids I had when I taught school. You are a wonderful mother and he will thrive because of the care, love and experiences you put in his path.