Checking The “Disabled” Box

Last week I was trying to get our taxes done and normally it’s not a big deal.  I didn’t think this year was going to be any different. I just wanted to get this heap of information entered and be done! There was one difference between this year and every other year previously.

This year included checking the “disabled” box for our little man. It’s a fact and it didn’t really ever bother me before that one day. Even when we got the letter that he was declared “disabled” I was ok. I felt like that was what we needed to help him. We needed that to be eligible for some of the Autism programs in our state. This one click of a box made me feel like I had just been kicked in the stomach.

It’s no secret that we didn’t have an all supportive response from people in our lives when they found out about Aiden’s diagnosis. The lack of support still is the same now, one of the many reasons I don’t share Aiden’s “disabled” status. It is an indescribable pain to know that people judge and mistreat your child because of something he had no control over. I also don’t want him to be treated like he can’t do something. He is so bright and making so much progress.

Once this comment was made “he may not make a whole lot of progress and may be like this forever”. He was not even three yet and I didn’t listen to that thoughtless comment for one second. I just knew that I was going to spend the rest of my life working as hard as I could to help Aiden and to prove those ignorant people wrong. Since that day, he has continued to prove every doubter and disbeliever wrong.

This afternoon Adam & I have Aiden’s IEP meeting and for some reason I am feeling uneasy about it. Last year I went into it with hope and feeling good. This year I feel like moving him to the 4k from early childhood is going to be like throwing him to the wolves. I am so worried, and didn’t sleep much last night. Fingers crossed we all can work together to do what is best for Aiden.

I am determined to help my little man in any way that I can, whatever his status is! That one word does not define him or limit his possibilities!

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6 thoughts on “Checking The “Disabled” Box

  1. Good luck at the IEP meeting and getting all the supports needed for Aiden to transition into 4k. It is scary as you help him take the next step. Just remember you are his best advocate and you and your husband know him the best. I know you know this but when you are sitting in an IEP meeting with the school peeps its emotional with lots of stuff to talk about. The best advice I can give is to trust your gut, try to have “them” do the talking by telling you guys what they can do for Aiden to help him move forward and progress. It is his human right to have an education just like all the other children..he just needs to do it at his own pace. Another thing is make sure there are measurable goals as well and that the IEP is a work in progress and that you can have many meetings to change things as Aiden changes etc.

    The things that people can say sometimes is just plain hard. I remember when the well meaning doctor told us that our son might move forward with a lot of intervention or he might not. We sat there in shock and thought how can someone say such tough harsh stuff to us. We know him and in our hearts he has taken steps back but he could and will re-learn what he lost and move forward. I swear as special needs parents we need to have thick skin but for someone reason the words still stick to me.

    • I could not agree with you more!! Thank you so much for the support {now and always} I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it!

      We have to have such tough skin and in some areas I do but not when it comes to Aiden. I wish I did!

      Thank you so much for the encouragement and advice about today. I am thankful that his teachers and therapists love him like we do but the thought of 4k is freaking me out. They originally said it would be at various “daycares” and I am like no! We found out that our Y is now involved in the 4k so he will go there. The girls go there and so we know the teachers in the before/after school program and the director of the facility. She is a special needs momma too, so that gives me some comfort.

      • You are welcome:) Is 4K like Junior Kindergarten? Is he going to be integrated with typical children? I have found that one of the challenges with my son wasn’t just the communication piece but more important was the sensory side. A lot more children with a classroom with all the fun kindergarten stuff all over the walls and then trying to handle all of that coming in all the time. I have really pushed hard for a sensory diet and for it to keep changing according to him changing and I can’t believe how huge this is. Good luck:)

      • Yes it is. It is my understanding that EC went until they went to kindergarden if they qualified {testing/skill wise} and every school district in our area has 4k but ours didn’t until this year. If they did Hailey would have been in it and that would have been awesome. She is home w. me this year because they don’t have it.

        4k for Aiden will be with typical children. My worry is sensory and communication. I mean he has made a lot of progress BUT I am afraid of going backwards or this not being a good experience {teacher or student wise}. We switched Kaitlin to the school Aiden is in now, and fingers crossed we can get Hailey in there for kindergarten. The school for our area is horrible. VERY intolerant of special needs kids and allow bullying. Kaitlin is above average, not special needs and was bullied first grade – third despite weekly phone calls, e-mails and meetings. I already told Adam if we can’t get Hailey & Aiden in there then we are homeschooling. I will do whatever I have to do to not send them there.

        I will keep you posted! I am sure todays meeting itself will be a post {or two!} :)

      • I know what you mean re: school. The one around the corner from us is terrible for the same reasons and the Principal already told us absolutely no help for our son if went there. He would be bused to a special needs school. I don’t have problems with special needs schools but not when all the professionals who were working with my son and doctors advised us to send him to a kindergarten where he would be integrated with supports in place etc. Trust your gut “Warrior Mom.”

      • Meeting went amazing!
        Looks like we may be able to get Hailey in w. Aiden and Kaitlin!!!
        Good news! :) Will post soon!

        p.s As always, THANK YOU for your support and listening {reading} ear!

        xoxo

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