Saturday, January 06, 2007
Son of my heart
I wrote these words to some friends and realized how well they went with these pictures I took of Noah and I the following day:
I met with Noah's caseworker, this really wonderful dynamo of a woman named Beth, who is helping us get all kinds of services for him. We talked about how the public school is just not meeting his needs, though their intentions and hearts are set in the right place, their training and facilities are inadequate.
We talked about what is happening to my bright, fizzy, loving, driven, creative, charming, passionate baby boy (ok, he's just turned 6...but he's my BABY!); everyday he comes home crushed on some level. I don't know many 6 yr olds who hit themselves in the head, who call themselves dumb and stupid, who cry and say that want to die. I still reel when these things come from my child's mouth.
His mind is a dazzling and complex landscape where brilliant sunshine and raging storms plow through erratically, alternately blinding him with manic giddiness or sucking him up in a twister of rage. Sometimes both at once! And here he is, this tiny new soul, still trying to understand the world, and people, and though everyone who guides him tries hard to encourage him, the messages he hears and internalizes every single day are...
not good enough
get a grip
you're ruining everything
get away from me
...and he is starting to believe it. We need to get him OUT of the mainstream educational system before it destroys him. He is an octagonal peg and they are jamming him into a round hole by whittling down his self esteem, his sense of self, his hope. I cannot stand by and watch my child be strangled by red tape while the almighty dollar holds sway over his future.
The suicide rate for boys with this disorder is terrifyingly high. I am in a fight for not just the quality of his life, but his life! His LIFE! And some days I get a glimpse of how very small I am on the battlefield, with the rusty little bugle I am trying to muster up a "charge!" with, and a shitty broken musket. And maybe a pack of smokes. Ha!
Anyway, sorry, it is something I can rant about for days. He is a fire in my heart all the time.
The upshot of this meeting was we are going to seek out of district placement for him. A special school that the town will have to pay for. This is going to be a HARD FIGHT. These things often involve lawyers, appeals, and general misery. The school we are aiming for has a $46 K annual tuition rate. We will have a fight on our hands.
So the person who really needs the glory love and prayers is Noah, whose spirit and mind are under fire everyday, and whose childhood is an emotional battlefield being slowly littered with memories of bad days. And prayers, too that the hearts and minds of those with the power to make a change for him are moved to do so, to make a call that changes the course of his entire future. So much for our family will ride on this. Everything, in fact.
Read more about what Noah is dealing with HERE.
Here is my baby boy: