Our Journey Raising Two Children with Special Needs

This blog chronicles our life raising two children, Nicholas 15, diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome and Weston 18, diagnosed with Autism/Asperger's/ADHD. It's the ups, the downs, the joys, the sorrows and most importantly, the beauty of living a life less perfect, a life more meaningful.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Track Coach Gets Run Over

After struggling through many grades, this has finally been a very good school year for Weston.

In the morning, he reports to the Compass room where he receives educational, organization and support services designed to help him learn to become more successful in the educational environment. This program has honestly saved his life. He has thrived in the supportive climate.

I have Sue, Lisa and Eileen to thank for this, three special women who have taken a great deal of time in getting to know Weston. They understand his strengths and weaknesses. They see the happy boy beneath the diagnosis. They are amazing women.

Yesterday, Sue, Lisa, Eileen and I met with Pat the new coach for middle school Track and Field.

We sat at the conference table, the young male coach surrounded by four confident and vocal women; four women devoted to seeing Weston succeed.

The poor young guy didn't stand a chance.

Before he could even speak, Lisa began the discussion...

"I do not support this program unless Weston has an aide," she explains boldly.

I almost swallow my tongue remembering my intense discussions with the school last year as I tried to advocate for just a little extra help in the classroom.

"You need to remember, Weston can misinterpret other student's words and actions," she adds barely skipping a beat.

"I understand, said Pat "But.....

"Also, he is very disturbed by loud noises," Sue adds.

"Well, we could....." But before Pat has a chance to speak, it is Eileen who speaks next.

"Free time is not a friend to Weston, you need to be sure you keep him engaged at all times," she says.

Inside my head, I am amazed at the transformation of this middle school staff and their confident ability to understand my complex son.

I enjoy my new found freedom to just sit back and listen.

One by one, each woman takes their turn, pounding the coach with heartfelt advice and passionate pleas.

Poor Pat had little time to speak. And when he did, it wasn't long before he was pelted with a direct question or additional comment from the tireless trio.

For the first time in my life, I sit quietly and watch the monster I helped to create assail this unassuming young man.

The bitter meetings of last year now a distant memory, it seems, my intense and emotional crusade for Weston has finally begun to pay off as there are many folks at the middle school who finally "see" my son.

Poor Pat left the meeting scratching his head as four bold women had easily run over the new middle school track coach.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

I don't know if you were reading my blog back when I wrote a post about the REAL tiger mothers -- women like you and me and the legion of others who have to fight and work for their children with special needs. This post reminded me a bit of that, especially the hilarious line that you have created a monster!

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