Tuesday, 17 December 2013
In the week's leading up to my son's first kindergarten report, I felt myself having more anxiety. My anxiety stemmed from the unknown and the fact this would be his first formal academic evaluation. I didn't have a reason to worry but you just never know. Since I didn't know what to expect I told myself to not have any expectations. As soon as he got home on report card day, I opened the envelope quickly. After a look at the grades, my mind was blurting out "WHAT?!? How on earth could he get 2 C's?!?". My Asian mind was flabbergasted at how a child of mine could even get a "C". Once I calmed down, I took a step back and came away with four important lessons.
Tuesday, 3 December 2013
There are few words in our language that will automatically solicit a smile from the majority of people. Birthdays are memorable and joyous occassions full of celebration with loved ones. It is a day to honour the past, enjoy the present and dream about the future. Birthdays help mark significant milestones. The first birthday celebrates the successful survival of the parents who have managed multiple night wakings, endless feedings, first smiles and first steps. The fifth birthday sees a toddler becoming a young boy or girl with growing independence especially as they get ready to head off to school. The 21st birthday is another milestone. For the parents of a special needs child, this milestone contains much joy but it also brings to the forefront questions about the future. At 21, the public education of the special needs child is finished. Thus, the following questions arise. What will my special needs child do with their time now that their schooling is finished? Will my special needs child be able to find a job? Will my special needs child be able to live on his or her own? What kinds of resources, public or private, are available for my special needs chid?
Hopefully, as a special needs parent, these questions are not being asked for the first time at the 21st birthday. Like all special needs programs, public or private, there are long waiting lists and one wants to be sure find the best fit for their child. Moreover, it is important to dream of the possibilities when your child is younger so your child can work towards the dream. So as a special needs parent what do I need to know about the services offered after 21 years of age and what should I consider as I begin planning?