We have been very lucky that A, for all his problems and idiosyncrasies and struggles and alphabet soup of diagnoses, has been accepted by his peers. Peers who have very little in common with him, and certainly don’t have the problems and idiosyncrasies and struggles and alphabet soup of diagnoses that he does. They have accepted him for who he is, the general opinion of his accommodations is “that’s just A,” and because of his charismatic personality, things have generally been smooth.
I suspect this is about to change.
Not just because we’re picking up and moving the boys a thousand miles away in the middle of the school year, but because his peers don’t have the problems and idiosyncrasies and struggles and alphabet soup of diagnoses that come part and parcel with twice-exceptionality. His peers, and by this I mean age/grade peers, are maturing. They are growing past any challenges they may have had in school. They seem to be able to focus to get their work done, to accept that this is school and it ain’t always fun, that state testing sucks but you just have to do it. They participate in class, according to their parents homework doesn’t take four hours for a single page of work, and they can do extra-curricular activities without upsetting a delicate balance.
May I just say it? I hate the ass end of 2e.
The poor kid has endured occupational therapy, vision therapy, listening therapy, therapy therapy, three different ADHD meds, an ear filter for CAPD, accommodations at school, nutritional changes, homeopathic assistance, and at this very minute is upstairs working with his saint of a tutor.
I lift weights so I can hold him and help him calm down when it’s all too much for him and he not only loses his shit but flings it at anyone and everyone. I may joke about coping with the help of red wine, but in every bit of humor there’s a bit of truth. And I may crack wise about the money tree withering away, but the truth of the matter is that this family of four could have gone on several over-the-top vacations with what we’ve spent on the interventions in the previous paragraph. I refuse to tally it up, I don’t want to know.
And now it appears his charismatic personality isn’t enough to cover him with his peers, the friends he loves. The comments are starting, the ones like “you only write two sentences in an hour!” and “A never does his work.” And these are from kids who already know him; a new school, with new kids and a new educational everything…please pass me the wine. I like shiraz, thank you.
Unfortunately, because of our impending move, I can’t make any changes right now. I have no idea how much longer we’re going to be here. Could be six weeks, could be six months (please sweetbabyjesusonapony let it be closer to six weeks). I know we have many options from which to choose: more OT, possibly returning to ADHD meds, homeschooling. I know. None of them are particularly appealing. But I can see he’s hurting. He can’t put it into words very well, but from little snippets here and there, I can tell he’s hurting. His peers are maturing and able to cope, he is struggling and knows it, and I can see him losing faith in himself. I sense him slipping away, the very thing I have been terrified of for years.
In this culture, different is scary. Different is wrong. Different is to be shunned in hopes it changes. A is intensely different. He is intensely gifted. He has intense challenges. He is just flat-out intense. He is the poster child for 2e.
And right now he…and I as well…needs a rope tossed to him. For I fear he may be going down for the third time, with his unintentionally ignorant peers dragging him down.