New clothes, shoes and fresh haircuts and hair ribbons. Themed lunch boxes and backpacks. The smell of plastic thermoses, glue sticks and crayons fill the air. It’s time for the morning rush, and the getting to bed early fight. It’s here again; School time!
Whether you homeschool or take your little ones to a traditional brick and mortar school house, this is the time of year that is full of new beginnings! It’s excitement mixed in with nerves and for many kids that comes with the desire to blend in with their classmates. But what if God has made you just a little different than most of the class?
The world labels just about every child these days. We have acronyms on top of acronyms. Everyone has one—it’s the newest thing, evidently! Well, my son has a couple acronyms of his own. They are ASD and ADHD: Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
“Disorder”. I don’t much care for that word. It seems to be 180 degrees from the word “normal”…and, truth be told, I don’t much care for that word either.
After three years of homeschooling and what seems like an infinite number of hours looking into home school tutorials, private school, public school and special education services, we have decided to put our son into an alternative education environment. He’s now in a brick and mortar building for school, but the curriculum is geared towards the three types of learning styles: visual, auditory and kinesthetic. There is no special ed, per se, but each child is challenged and will progress at their own pace. Very much like a home school environment– with an everyday opportunity for socialization.
Yes, we prayed about this decision and once we opted in, we were worried that we may want to opt out! A little on the fence about everything, I guess. But we prayed some more… and trusted that God has brought us to the right place at the right time. Which isn’t to say that I won’t stop praying–like a million times a day– that we are doing the right thing for our son, and that God’s will be known to us.
This is our first week of traditional school. I’ve enjoyed going through the newness of everything with my son. Walking into third grade this past Monday with his new clothes, backpack and Star Wars lunch box was pretty exciting! Picking him up from school and smelling the sweaty goodness of little boy who has played hard with his new set of friends was also exciting!–And rewarding!! Having his teacher tell us that he’s learning about the classroom and where everything is and developing a comfort within that classroom. That’s a lot different and much more appreciated than being told, “He touched everything and made messes wherever he went!” Hearing him tell us that his new best friend is Evan, and that he and Evan like the same computer games made us feel so happy! All of these things that have been told to us this week was like music to our ears, because for once my son’s “disorders” weren’t over-shadowing his ability to be “normal”. Because for the first time, he was just another third grader, who was learning the ropes with a bunch of other kids. Kids who may very well have labels, too. But kids who are allowed to go to school and in the process, just be the kids God created them to be.
Parents, I want to encourage you today. Many of you have children who the world doesn’t embrace through their differences. You’ve had to not only be their advocate, but their shelter. Without desiring a reward for your sacrifices, you are their heroes. Never stop believing that your children can reach what the world considers to be unattainable goals. With God, all things are possible! Never think they have a ceiling to their achievement possibilities! God has created them– all of them– with a purpose. A lovely, personal, and perfect purpose!
Psalms 139:13-16 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”