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When Roo came along we were thrust into the disabled world and have made many friends who understand the difficulties of having a disabled child but lately I have been feeling that Roo doesn't belong anymore. Its hard to explain, but things have changed that may be subtle to others but due to my deafness I am more aware of little changes and can sense that things are no longer the same.
The school that Roo attends is a mainstream school along side the Hub which is where classes for disabled children are held and they also have a sn nursery room as well as mainstream nursery. The kids there get the best of both worlds as they get the support they need and also a chance to mix with mainstream kids. Roo has been attending the sn nursery for almost 2 yrs and now his time is split between the mainstream nursery with a 1:1 and the sn room. In the 2 years he has been going there he has come on so much , made lots of progress and that is thanks to the dedicated staff who really are wonderful.
But....yes there is always a but isn't there....lately I have been feeling that Roo doesn't fit in both those worlds, I don't know why I suddenly feel like that but I do... Roo isn't physically disabled and is a very mobile child who is always constantly moving around and never sits still for a moment and I was/am aware that during his time in the sn room he was the only young one who was like this as the other kids all need equipment to help them to stand, sit and keep them mobile. Roo seemed out of place if that's the right way of saying it...I think it would be different if there were other children the same age as Roo who were like Roo. He needs a lot of support in many aspects of his life but not as much as his friends and I worry that he is too boisterous , too active for them. As for the mainstream world its good to see him going into nursery with the other children , he fits in with them physically as he can do things like go on the climbing frame like the other children and much more but yet he still needs 1:1 all the time and still needs lots of support and is different to the other kids. The stares from the parents of the mainstream kids is enough to make you feel paranoid sometimes!
People keep saying that we need to make decisions about his future but its so hard when you feel like you don't know what to expect. I would love someone to come and sit down with me and say "i think this is best because etc et etc" and then that would help me to make the right decision. I feel like I'm just stumbling along in the darkness not sure which route to take...I worry that if i make the wrong decision that it will affect him later on and I would feel guilty...but I guess that's part of the sn journey where nothing is certain and all you can do is try the different options available and see what works out for the best.
I know in my heart that mainstream is probably better at this moment in time as long as he has a 1:1 at all times but I worry so much as he cant communicate to me if he is unhappy, if something is bothering him, if he is worried about something, if he understands whats going on and so on...I know he will thrive in the busy environment, watching the other children and maybe even taking part but at the same time I know he is quite delayed compared to his peers.
I think it doesn't help because I sort of know how it all works as I was a special needs child myself who went into mainstream school with a teacher of the deaf who came for a few hrs a day but I had fantastic staff who did everything to make me included but even so I still felt left out, I was the odd one out, I got picked on by some of the kids who made fun of me having to wear hearing aids, not understanding what they are saying and so on...although I had a good group of friends who were fab and didn't care about my deafness and just treated me like one of them there was still that feeling of not quite belonging....it wasn't until I reached secondary age that my parents realised that I needed specialist schooling and I was sent to a boarding school for deaf children and it was there that I finally felt like I belonged, that I fitted in and was with people who understood. I know its different for me as I am able to communicate, able to tell people if I'm upset , sad or happy but Roo cant and this is what worries me so much and probably why I am feeling at the moment that he doesn't quite fit into the two worlds that he is exposed to. He has no diagnosis so we have no idea what his future will be....
After speaking to several other sn mums on SWAN i realised I'm not alone in thinking this , that they too are or have been through this and its only when their children have done several years in school that they can actually know for definite which world they belong to.
As one mum put it with our kids - they have a foot in both worlds but they don't quite fit .....