Bloggy Moms

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Finding Our Place in This World

I have a unique dilemma since my child looks and can often act so "normal." I'm not quite sure where we fit in. My daughter can keep up somewhat academically with her peers. She's even advanced in reading. She is able to interact with other children her age but not all of the time. She's that square peg trying to fit in a round hole.  On the other hand, Princess rises to the top with her disabled peers. She doesn't have as many needs that are visible to the naked eye. I've had people question why we even have her in the disabilities ministry at our church because she doesn't present as differently abled. It's so tricky trying to figure out where we belong.
Before I knew all of Princess' struggles, we tried several different extra curricular activities. She took dance lessons from the time she was 1 1/2 until she was around 6. She was always the challenging one in class but we thought it was because she was bored. Then one day I got the call no parent wants to receive. One of the lead teachers at her dance school called  to tell me that my child would have to take private lessons because they could no longer handle her with other students.  Her behaviors were interfering with dance instruction. That wasn't what I was looking to do so we politely bowed out of dance.
We also tried drama. Princess loved dancing and putting on little plays at our house so I thought she'd do well with acting. I enrolled her in one of the best youth programs in our area. Princess struggled there too.  One day after acting class, I was cornered by the two directors. Even though I'd been straight forward about Princess' challenges on her application, they had not taken the time to read it. They informed me that Princess was having difficulty sitting still and listening to directions. They even had the gall to ask me if she was adopted.  About this time, Princess was refusing to get ready for acting class, I think that was the last day we went to that drama class.
Another time Princess was spotted by a talent scout. We were having a rough outing while shopping when a lovely lady approached me and asked me if my child had ever done any acting. I told her our experience. She told me that she represented an acting school for children about an hour away from our place. My husband and I checked it out, enrolled our daughter and even had head shots done in Los Angeles.  Once Princess completed the classes, she was ready to see a talent agent. We had a slight glitch though, Princess could not follow the directions of the talent agents. She lacked focus. That was the end of her hopes for getting picked up by a talent agency.
Since these experiences Princess hasn't done much. She has no interest in organized sports. I am not of the mind set of making my child do something that she doesn't like, especially one as strong willed as mine. That approach will surely back fire on me.
We even tried Gen Ed with Princess. That turned out horribly. She's currently in a small private school that is publicly funded. She's thriving there. I dread the day that our district decides that they're no longer going to pay for this.
Alternately I fear that my child is not getting what her school aged peers are getting. She has very limited computer time. She is not getting to perform science experiments or even go on field trips.
We gave up a portion of her academics to focus on her behaviors instead.
I worry that she will fall behind students in the Gen Ed setting. One day when she is ready to reenter the public school setting, will she be able to keep up with them?
Ultimately I struggle with knowing if I am giving my daughter what she needs both in the school setting and outside of it. Are my fears holding her back?
I've come to a few conclusions. One is that when my daughter is with children like her, she is as the French say, "La creme de la creme" (The cream of the cream.) Yet when she's with children without challenges, she falls to the bottom of the barrel. I think for her self-esteem I'd rather have her be at the top where it's easier for her to shine. Another conclusion is that I need to find more activities that Princess can participate in out of school. I'm going to start researching some groups for children with differing abilities. I'm hoping that the leaders of these groups will be more accepting of my special daughter. Lastly, I'm glad that my daughter is challenging because when she's enjoying herself and really shining, all of us appreciate it and savor it more.


  1. I feel you- we don't really fit in anywhere either. Thankfully, no one has ever had the gall to ask me why my child is in our special needs ministry. I do have friends who also have children with special needs that say #1 is fine and don't acknowledge his challenges because their kids are younger and struggling more obviously. You'd think they'd know better. #2 knows *how* to do things, he just *can't.* He doesn't fit on a special needs team or a typical team. He doesn't fit in a special needs social group or a gen ed classroom. Gotta love those splintered skills, huh? Maybe our square pegedness (yes, I just made that up) is why we are friends. ;)

    1. Thanks for sharing. I think that you are on to something. :)