In August I wrote a letter to his teacher. I gave her a glimpse into our world of Apraxia and Sensory Processing Disorder. I asked her to look passed the limited words and rough behaviors, to the amazing, joyful, school-loving kid that I call my son.
I had no idea that letter would mark the beginning of a long year of advocating for him.
There have been many words written and spoken between myself and school administrators to ensure Jackson received the services he needed to succeed in the classroom.
It’s been a difficult year.
Fighting for my son; making sure they take his special needs seriously.
Educating teachers about Apraxia and Sensory Processing Disorder and how they affect everything he does.
There have been many tears shed by this mama and her son.
In the drop off line as he had a meltdown; when he didn’t want to leave school; and tears of anger when a school psychologist met me on the playground deeming my child a behavior problem.
I didn’t drop Jackson off at 9 a.m. and just go about my day.
I was the mama who worried.
I was the mama who prayed.
I was the mama making phone calls.
I was the mama reading books about special education law and IEP’s.
I was the mama who requested meetings.
I’m the mama some school officials might come to hate.
Jackson isn’t the only one who’s learned a lot this year.
I’ve learned I am the only one who is going to stand up for my son.
I’ve learned communication is key.
I’ve learned if you don’t speak up, your kid will get shoved into a classroom where he will fall through the cracks.
I’ve learned a teacher has the power to make or break a school year.
I’ve learned who truly has Jackson’s best interest at heart.
I’ve learned this fight won’t likely end until the day he graduates high school.
Fast forward nine months and we’re taking photos on the front porch, celebrating the last day of school.
It’s been a hard year; but it’s also been a year of growth.
A little boy who hardly spoke in August is now talking our ears off at home.
A mama, once defeated, is empowered to keep speaking up for her son.