My very-soon-to-be-three-year-old placed out of speech services yesterday. And not even by a smidge like I'd worried he would. He scored a solid average in expressive language (which had been his weak area). He made 26 months of expressive language progress in 12 months.
I can't even light on an emotion. I've got 'em all. It's a strange thing, this placing out. It's not common in our circles. My daughter earned her special needs title when she was one, and she's now in a
Kindergarten class with other children with special needs whose parents, like me, abandoned any for how long? thoughts long ago. The play group I've been attending with my son is full of toddlers who will be in the system for years.
I should be happy, right?
But I'm worried. I'm worried I'm missing something. I'm worried that he still parallel plays (is that normal?) or that he is still not what you'd call talkative (but maybe that's just his personality). I'm worried that I'm not advocating (that elusive skill I'm supposed to master) enough (though for what I'm not sure since his scores are all solid (see previous)).
The thing is, I'm comfortable in the world of families with children with special needs. I've made my home there, and I've discovered the invisible, unbreakable bond I have with the other parents in that group. It's safe; it's comfy. I don't really want to leave it, and I feel guilty about leaving it.
I can too, too easily imagine how the other parents feel to hear my son no longer qualifies for the county-sponsored play group. I'd be envious, I admit. Not because I think my child with special needs is lacking or less than, but because I'm jealous of the option of dropping all that baggage. All of a sudden, less preparation, less explanation, less paperwork.
And I am happy to place his special needs notebook on a storage shelf instead of the commonly used shelf next to my daughter's notebook and my sewing machine instruction manual. I'm pleased to have one fewer appointment to juggle. I'm thrilled he no longer carries a label other than his name.
But I can't seem to get happy. Maybe it's because I'm floundering without a home. I'm so used to special education being a reality for both my children, I can't adjust to it not. I've had the dickens of a time trying to figure out my feelings well enough to construct a coherent blog post.
I don't want to be told that this is a good thing because it sounds too much like my son has just jumped a hurdle and was previously lacking.
And I don't want my worries to be encouraged because...worries.
This one time I was confused and adrift because my child was no longer a special needs child. Of all the ironic things.