Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Living On an Island

Some days it truly feels like we're living on an island.  While we have several close friends who love and support us, we often still feel so alone. Most of our family and friends from home don't understand what our lives are like on a daily basis. Many of them think I post things online just to get attention, which couldn't be further from the truth.  I'm simply giving my loved ones a glimpse into our lives and hoping that some day they'll truly understand.

While neither Shane nor I would change a thing about the journey we have been on together, that doesn't mean it hasn't taken it's toll on both of us.  We will never again be able to see the world through rose colored glasses.  In fact, we (or I should say I) spend most of the time waiting for the other shoe to drop. Mason has made SO much progress in the past few years and he is SO smart. We've never questioned his intelligence; however, he still doesn't do the things that a typical 6-year-old does.  I try so hard not to compare him to other children his age but it's hard not to, especially when I am taking him to school and picking him up twice a day.  I am constantly reminded that he doesn't talk or play like his peers and I can't help but feel like I've failed him; that he's missing out on the experiences and milestones of a typical childhood.

Mason's schedule is beyond hectic at this point. He goes to school Monday through Friday from 10:15 - 11 and then again from 12:30 - 1:40, with the exception of Tuesdays when he stays until 2:30.  He is getting time in the regular classroom as well as one-on-one instruction. He also goes for Music, PE, Art, Media and Computers as well as Speech and OT.  (We fit our homeschooling lessons in before and after he goes to school.)

On top of that, he began going for medically-based Speech therapy a few weeks ago too and will be starting medically-based OT next month as well.  The sad part is, even though we are doing all of that, I still feel like somehow it's not enough. I feel like we dropped the ball and I am trying frantically to get things back on track. Is it any wonder that I feel like he's missing out on the childhood he should have had?

Thankfully, Mason seems to be thriving despite the fact that our days are anything but typical. He enjoys going to school and hasn't experienced sensory overload yet, most likely due to the fact that he goes in short intervals. He is responding very well to his teachers and they are impressed with how well he is performing in Reading and Math.  He enjoys going to medically-based Speech, and in fact has a melt down after each session because he doesn't want to leave. We've only been doing this schedule for about 2.5 weeks now so we're not sure if it will continue to be feasible in the long-run, but I guess time will tell.

Even though I know we're doing what's best for Mason, I can't help but feel isolated.  We don't really fit in with our friends who send their children to public school full-time and we don't fit in with the home school community either.  The school has been awesome in working with us to create a schedule that is beneficial for Mason but I know they think we're a bit crazy.  His special education teacher mentioned last week that it can't be easy for me. Truthfully, it's not but as long as he's thriving, I'll continue to make it work. I can only hope that some day all of our efforts pay off and Mason will be able to live a full life.  If the only way to ensure that is for me to feel like we don't really fit in anywhere, then so be it. His happiness is worth it!!

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