My heart has been heavy this week. At times I have felt like I am carrying a stone around in my chest. When emotions are really centered in the brain why do we feel them in our hearts?
Anyone who reads my blog knows I have a daughter with special needs. I am in a constant state of indecision as to how much to share publicly regarding her needs. We don't have a specific diagnosis for which to advocate. And while I know from experience that sharing an emotional experience publicly can be cathartic, I cannot get past the idea that it is a violation of her privacy.
So, without sharing details, I will say this. We have done some extensive testing, and the message I received most clearly from the report is that school is not a happy place for Maggie. It is an overwhelming place, a stressful place, and a challenging place. Her only option at times is to retreat to her books or her daydreams. And every day, she departs on the bus without so much as a whimper. She knows she has to go to school, and she doesn't complain.
I don't know how to make it better. I don't know which Kindergarten placement would be the better one. I don't know if we should give up on public school and try homeschooling (an option I dread but will not entirely dismiss) or private school (when $40,000 drops from the sky into our laps).
I wish I could be more optimistic, but I've worked in schools, and I know how hard it is to meet some students' needs. I am 100% convinced that the teachers she works with now are caring individuals who work hard on her behalf, and I believe we are likely to encounter the same at her next school. But no matter how well-trained and well-meaning the employees are, they have limited resources and a whole lot of kids to serve.
So June 2 looms on the horizon as we sit between the school system hinting for one placement and the psychologist strongly advocating for the other, between the neurologist suggesting one course of action and the psychologist the other. And us in between knowing whatever decision we
make will have tremendous ramifications. It's our call.
What no one told me about parenting is how hard the decisions are. No one can predict which path will screw your kid and which is the road to improvement.