It's unbelieveable that this little man is over 3 yrs. In our church they move up from the nursery to primary class, specifically the Sunbeams. They still have music time and a lesson but more sitting in a chair is required of them. We knew this transistion would be challenging but had no idea what to expect.
If you think about being not able to communicate your desires and suddenly being placed in a new situation it can be frustrating and frightening. It took him some time to adjust to nursery and finally looked forward to it. Combine this with the fact we are meeting in the afternoon, a notoriously cranky time of day for everyone,so I opted to stay with him the remainder of time at church. In the process we learned a great deal about Eli.
We love and appreciate all those who work with Eli especially those who volunteer but there was a gap in his training and the fault falls with me. Perhaps it's the little glasses, or his cute head tilt but we learned that he often simply does his own thing in nursery. He likes to sort items in a bag or place crayons in a line, he didn't really attend to what the others were doing (unless it was music related!) and was never pushed to follow along. Moreover it was considered the norm and people brought things that would interest him separate from others. With me beside him he suddenly had expectations and did not like them one bit!
He ended up producing lots of screams, crying and limp noodle moves, I came away sweaty, black and blue with a great arm and shoulder workout
It's hard to explain to others the struggle to be a mom of a special needs kids. Because I'm with him so much I know he is capable of so much more. I'm so glad that they find ways to simply love him, but I want that love to help him reach his potential. One of the speakers at the DS Conference coined the phrase "Don't Limit Me!" Eli has yet to face the limitations of society in terms of schooling, career, job, family life, but in many ways unintentionally people limit by not expecting certain social norms. Granted he will need more time to learn it, more patience, but he can learn it! It's through learning it that he will be able to function in society and NOT be limited in his future aspirations. He will only have the confidence to succeed if he's made to grow, it is the same with any child but too often his 'difference'
When you read the stories of Helen Keller you see a picture of parents at their wits end just trying to survive a child they love dearly but had no control over. It was Anne Sullivan who had expectations and fought fiercely for them. She sought ways to understand Helen and gave her a voice. Without Anne, Helen would have remained trapped, unconnected to the world and unfulfilled. I hope to have Anne Sullivans who help Eli throughout his life.
These next few years will be taxing physically and emotionally as we work with our little man to potty train, learn to work in school, sit through church meetings, etc. We have a plan in place, gradually lessening the walks outside to decompress from all the stimulus, slowly increasing his time and stamina to sit in a chair ... the pace doesn't really matter, only the direction. I hope in the journey he will see that we do these things because we love him with the best kind of love there is, the one that makes us more than we are now.