I hope you all had a good week! MEAP schedule definitely does throw us off here in LINKS and Room 40!We made it through (except for those of you who are still testing on Monday!) and we all have learned many things in the process.
Some of you missed class with us on Wednesday. Hopefully you picked up the two different packets to read. If you did not pick these up: email me! I will share you into the Google Doc that I have them saved on.
This week in class we read two different... poems? Stories? The first was titled "Holland". It was a very sweet way of showing the readers how when you have a baby, you begin to plan and have all these hopes and dreams for that child. But when you find out that child has a disability, those hopes and dreams change. Rather than that trip to Italy that you had planned, you ended up in Holland. Both are beautiful places, but you need to change your frame of mind.
You complete the story feeling good. Every time I read that story I smile and think "I could learn to love Holland if that's where I ended up." but in reality, I would be devastated. I am not entirely sure if I could have such a positive spin on it for many many years.
We discussed how so many parents plan for their child before they even have one! I am currently doing this right now for my own child. It's a natural thing. I would think some of you may even do a little bit of this already. I remember in high school (I can't remember as far back as Jr. High!) thinking "I hope when I have a kid someday that they will want to play sports" or "I hope my child enjoys singing someday". I remember thinking those thoughts because those were things that I LOVED doing in high school so I wanted my future (very very far in the future!) child to have those same experiences.
So when a parent finds out that their child has a disability, all of those hopes and dreams that started so long ago are very very painful to let go of. Parents go through the grieving process, just as they would if someone in their life died. Check out the 5 Stages of Grief and Loss here.
Knowing that parents go through these stages, "Schmolland" made so much more sense to me! I feel as though it is a much more realistic viewpoint of a parent. Granted, she speaks to her specific country with lots of examples that we have not seen first hand, but she gives us a glimpse into her real country that isn't all tulips and windmills (see what I did there? I'm funny sometimes... Mr. VanLaan totally wouldn't agree though.)
The second packet that you got is called "Autism: Don't Ignore My Son!" by Bill Davis. You first met Bill Davis last week when you saw him in a video with his son, Chris. (He was the guy all tattooed up). This article is awesome in that it does a great job of showing you how hard these parents work once they are ready to accept their child's disability.
I love the glimpse that it gives us into their life and how hard it can be to have a child like this at home. Chris is obviously more severe than any of our boys, but seeing how Chris' family responded to his disability and challenges will give you a good idea what so many of our peer's families have to do (or choose to do) as well.
We will continue to speak on this in our class next week as well. Then we will shift our focus to the siblings of these kids. That is an important piece of the puzzle that I think you all will be able to relate to.
Okay, confession time: I am WAY behind on grading homework right now! I'll try to get some done this weekend, but please be patient with me! MEAPS and a lot of meetings (conferences) really threw me off this week. I will try my best to have those graded by Wednesday. If you have any immediate questions for me that I have not gotten to in your journals, please please email me! I don't want to have your questions or concerns sitting out there!
Thanks for your understanding and patience. And have an AWESOME weekend! You all deserve it!
P.S. It was SO amazing speaking to so many of your parents this past week! I loved meeting them and singing your praises!
P.S.S. Enjoy this video! I know many of you have seen it, but it's one of my favorites! No need to comment on it. Just enjoy :-)