I am green, I have no training and sometimes no clue… I am making it up as I go along.
Clearly I missed the chapter on “How to Advocate for your Child” in ‘What to Expect when you’re Expecting’, was there one?…
I devour information from PwD who speak, blog, write so eloquently about their needs/wants/dreams, but I am an abloid, how do I really know what MaccyMoo needs/wants/dreams.
I assume he wants independence, free will, ordinary experiences, laughter and ice cream for dessert.
I know he thinks sleeping (at any time of day or night) is for wimps and, should I choose to do his therapy, and mess with his ‘free will’, I do so at my peril.
He is five, he is a boy and he is my son. I am significantly more than five, I am a girl and I am his Mum.
How on earth do I really know what is in his heart.
I hope my ability to regularly exist in a ‘child state’, to consider what would have been important to me if I was a five year old boy and to strive to always appreciate a good ‘fart gag’ will stand me in good stead. Will that be enough?
We establish rules at pre-school to ensure he isn’t treated as a ‘precious, ‘special’ little boy’ but merely as a five year old boy – the kids get it, their parents might in time.
But is that what he wants or what I want.
I find it hard to pinpoint what it is that I want for him. Do I want him to be ordinary… and then… what is ordinary? I consider my upbringing ‘ordinary’ but then I loved winning at sports (all of them), I liked being better at school than the person next to me, I liked that as a kid I was in the local paper regularly for my achievements. Did everyone do this, is this ordinary?
I have struggled for sometime to work out what it is I am chasing for MaccyMoo – but finally…
I think I may have found it.
Thankfully there are people out there far smarter than me. I came across an inclusive education site – important research as we prepare for MaccyMoo starting school next year and there it was… the words I had been looking for…
“THROUGH THE SAME DOOR”
This absolutely encapsulates what I am trying to achieve for MaccyMoo – to be able to access life through the same door as everyone else.
It provides a simple answer when others ask “why are you mainstreaming him”, I now have an answer I am proud to share…
As I said, I am still green when it comes to advocacy, but I hope I am getting there.
The site I found was www.throughthesamedoor.com it is Micah’s story of his inclusive college education and regular life. Thank you Micah.