We had our ARD meeting last Friday and it was rough. We were discussing where our monkey will be heading to next year. The three options were presented to me. The one that the committee picked was SLU – Structured Learning Unit. The reason? His behavior. He struggles to stay seated. He struggles to want to work. He struggles. My husband went to assist last Thursday because he was extremely anxious. He later told me how our monkey was all over the place. While the other kids were sitting down, watching a video or coloring, our son was walking around the classroom, pacing, flapping, and wouldn’t sit still.
And although this ARD meeting was to talk about which best option is for my son, it was hard to hear his teacher, the principal, the para, the therapists, everyone kept talking about how he is more anxious, more aggressive, more frustrated, just more.
And we never addressed what he can do. We never talked about how he stopped trying to escape. How now he doesn’t feel the need to try to run out of the school. This means he is starting to feel more at peace in school. Also, how his transaction meltdowns have decreased. Or how sweet he can be when he knows someone is hurt. How he wants hugs and kisses. How he loves to put the alphabet up on the board.
All the cans were never discussed. And I think as special needs parents, sometimes we need to take a break from hearing all the milestones our kids have missed.
We know how behind our kids are.
We don’t need reports to tell us. I can see it when I see kids younger than he is speaking, expressing themselves. I can see it when I see other parents going to play dates or organized sports. I can see it.
But sometimes, we need to be reminded of the cans. Because in all honestly, there are times that we forget because we are too wrapped up in the can’ts.