Archives for the month of: March, 2019

One of the hardest things for me to deal with as a special needs parent is the boys’ birthday, which is coming up on March 5th. They will be 11.

For those of you who know me, I’m a Birthday NUT! (By the way, my birthday is in a month)

I have my biggest bouts of grief surrounding their birthday. It makes me sad that they don’t do a countdown, they don’t know when it is, they can’t tell us what they’d like – presents, flavour of cake, theme. Selfishly, I feel like I’ve robbed of those joys of motherhood. I’m NOT so much of a control freak that I relish in the fact that I have to think out every detail and party plan. I loved when my daughter thought that she wanted a cupcake decorating station for her birthday… against my better judgement, we did it, and I’ve been cleaning sprinkles out of the grooves in the floors for years after!

I’m sad that they can’t tell me who they want to share their day with. I’m sad that I have to ask people at the school who a) is a friend and b) would be delighted to come to a birthday for Drew and Dean. I get sad because not only do I have to rack my brain for ideas for them, I have to think of ideas for everyone else wanting to get them something.

I KNOW that they will be delighted with whatever we decide to do to celebrate them. They LOVE birthdays. They celebrate everyone’s with the same enthusiasm. They WILL open your present for you. They WILL blow out your candles.

I, as their mother, just have a strong desire to let them know how much I love them and create a very special day for them, even if they don’t completely understand its their birthday.

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So Once again, it’s February (I know I’m cutting it close in the last hours). Inclusion awareness month.

Every year I revisit our family’s definition of inclusion.

It’s such a heavy and confusing term.

It’s quite simple though. We want our kids to go to school happy, come home happy, and have meaningful opportunities and experiences in between.

I don’t need my children to fit a mould. I don’t need them to sit through lessons because that’s what their class is doing, we need to know that our children’s strengths and interests are being encouraged and their other skills developed at opportune times throughout their days.

I love that although my boys are infamous, when they misbehave, they’re still getting time outs or reflection. I love that the boys are welcomed to learn with the SK/1 class for math, because that’s where they are at. I love that a whole new group of students is learning about differences in abilities and understanding that Drew and Dean have some pretty awesome qualities alongside their deficits.

I love that people not directly involved are learning signs in order to communicate with my boys. i love that students are finding signs to teach them new vocabulary.

Inclusion doesn’t mean you have to like my kids “just because.” Inclusion means accepting them and showing them that they have a place alongside you because you recognize that they belong and have value in your community. Inclusion is showing empathy and kindness.

Inclusion is finding your place in the world and being accepted there…

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