Wednesday, September 05, 2007

On the outside looking in...(Journal#79)

I want to see my baby in school. Such a weird feeling to have your youngest start kindergarten. Such an even weirder, uneasy, waiting to see feeling... to have your youngest start kindergarten, be in special education, and oh yah, be autistic.

While we have been trying so hard to have Sam be as mainstreamed in life and school as possible, there are still so many times we feel like we are outcasts or on the outside looking in. The first day of school was a great example. Our district decides if your child has morning or afternoon kindergarten, unless they have an IEP that would state differently. Of which Sam's does. Sam is in private speech therapy twice a week for two hours each time through a local hospital. After almost 3 years of one-on-one speech with an SLP, Sam is now in a program focussing on social/converasational speech skills with 4 other children and 2 SLP's. This program meets in the mornings. Brent and I felt it important to push for afternoon kindergarten, as we didn't want to pull Sam from this program because it aligned so well with his IEP language goals. So...we made the choice to have PM kindergarten.

We did not know that our whole neighborhood is AM kindergarten because they are walkers and walkers always get AM.

So Tuesday was the first day of school. I am so excited and have both boys outside to get our pictures by the same bush I have always taken our oldest's picture by since he started school. As we are taking the first day pics, the neighborhood mob of parents and children go walking by to school. While we were invited to partake, we did not, because Sam didn't need to go until PM, and Zach was getting a personal escort and ride by Brent. So once again, our attempt of getting Sam hooked up more with neighborhood friends seemed lost. Playdates are already being arranged for afternoons, when everyone is home from school (but Sam won't be). Pictures were being taken on the corner of "the group" that now walks together to school each morning. As hard as we try to keep up with typical friends and neighbors, it seems like we tend to keep out better. I am still not going to give up, but sometimes I just want to say "geesh, can it ever be in our favor".

I have intentionally kept some barriers up with neighbors, because some of the times we have had with them feels like such a struggle when I have to explain some of the things Sam does constantly. It is hard when they don't really understand. In most part, I can say it is my fault that we feel like we are outcasts. I know I could explain to them and try harder, but just don't always want to, nor have the energy to.

The first day of school came and went so fast, it is already almost Friday. My little boy is growing up fast. I wish he would tell us more of what he does at school. I will be touching base with his teacher tomorrow. I just want to know if he talks, or attempts to interact with peers. I just want to know, I don't want to be on the outside. I want the inside scoop. I don't want to always be on the outside of everything looking in.

A Twist of Faith
Sometimes life, people and situations can make you feel like you are an outcast. That in fact you are on the outside looking in. In those moments in time, we can be thankful that while it feels like we are on the outside looking in, that we always have the option of looking up. Of looking up to Him who provided for us. To that Jesus on the cross that saved us all.

I lift up my eyes to the hills- Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip -
He who watches over you will not slumber;
Indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you
The LORD is your shade at your right hand;
The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm -
He will watch over your life;
The LORD will watch over your coming and going
Both now and forevermore.

Psalm 121


Unknown said...

I can SO relate to this. The next door neighbor boys won't even LOOK at my kids. Won't even say, hello. It's been this way for years. There are tons of kids on our block and my kids are outcasts.

However, we have found friends elsewhere. God has supplied our need; it wasn't how I expected. It wasn't the way I would have picked, but He has provided. If you need to talk, let me know.

Anonymous said...

We don't have any youngsters nearby. The neighbours that we have on three sides are all very supportive - but they've had 8 years to get used to us!
Best wishes

mysamiam said...

Aspiemom, thanks for your kind words, you are so sweet.

Mcewen, that is awesome. I should clarify, that the immediate neighbors on either side of us are very supportive as well. Our eldest neighbor who is a grandfather type, actually gets upset when he sees cars going fast down our street because he worries about Sam not being aware. He really looks out for our little guy.

Anonymous said...

I so can relate to what you write here. I'm so thankful for the internet, because in a way, it is comforting to know I am not the only one feeling like I'm on the outside looking in.

It is comforting to me to know that Christ knows and understands what it is like to be an outcast. He was shunned by his own community. Thanks for the reminder to look upward for strength.

I love the photo - two brothers holding hands - how precious! And how lucky our boys are to have each other! Brings tears to my eyes to think about.

KC's Blog said...

I love the photo of your boys, it is so heartwarming :)
Our neighbors are a bit strange. I know they see K.C., it seems they are afraid to say anything and go to great lengths to not look in our direction, especially K.C. I have observed them looking away from him numerous times.

kristi said...

I understand. I have gotten this from teachers and family as well. They don't understand TC is not an alien, just a little different!

A Bishops Wife said...

My junior is autistic and has started kindergarten this year too. He goes for a full day. He is still my baby and I do not care what anyone says. And yes, we feel like "outcasts" too most of the time. It is just how the world works. "We are in this world but not of this world." I always try to keep that in mind.

Club 166 said...

Unfortunately, it seems ingrained in human nature to fear anything/anyone "different". Whether that be their skin color, physical disability, or the way they act.

It hurts us as parents to see our kids ostracized, knowing all the good that could come on both sides from interaction.

But we can only do what we can, and get up each day and do it again. I'm convinced that as long as we let them know they are loved (by us as well as their heavenly Father), that it will all work out in the end.


VAB said...

I just thought I should mention that I grew up not fitting in and I ended up being a very happy camper.

About knowing what is going on in school, don't make our mistake and wait until your guy is 11 to get a home-school communication book. It helps so much to have an aide write down a few words about what went on in school each day. By writing back each day, you can use it to let the school know about issues, new skills, etc. and to give suggestions about how to handle things.

MiSScNeLLY said...

I am linking this to my blog. This is awesome. Communication makes all the difference in the world. And don't let them say, "oh Jimmy had a good day." Get the details, ask your child about the day, engage them, have the school take one picture a day. Do something to get to know your child's other world better.