I remember making a conscience decision in the first 6 months after Carter’s diagnosis. Well, two actually. First, that the world would not change for Carter and I would need to help Carter learn to adjust to the world. And second, that I wanted to just be mom.
I remember Carter started a mother’s day out program at our church when he turned 2. He was having a particularly difficult time with sitting at a table during lunch. His teachers pulled me aside one day and asked me to send portable food, so that Carter could walk around while he ate. I got in my car and made the decision – the world would not change for him. If he was supposed to sit at the table and eat, he would learn to sit at the table and eat. Yes, maybe this school would make an accommodation, but who says the next would. Or even worse, what if he was in grade school and couldn’t sit and eat lunch – would he get made fun of? I know his teachers meant well, but that kind of attitude doesn’t help my son, it hinders him. So I went out and bought a little table and chairs and we started sitting at the table for meal time at home. And guess what? He has learned to sit at a table and eat.
Just mom. I am blessed that this decision was made easier through insurance and a great school district. I didn’t have to be therapist and teacher and fighter. I know some parents don’t have a choice. Because ABA therapy was covered. Because speech therapy and occupational therapy was covered. Because his developmental delay Pre-K teacher was amazing. I didn’t have to fill those roles. I got to just be mom. I got to focus on teaching him good manners. To focus on teaching him appropriate behavior. To focus on teaching him to try new things. To focus on going swimming and to the playground. We wrestle and read books and sing songs. He comes to me when he gets hurt or is sad. He hugs me and gives me kisses. He watches me pull away after I drop him off at school, and he smiles when he sees my car when I come to pick him up.