September has come and gone. The first 30 days of school can be daunting for parents of children with special needs. They always are for me. With Halloween fast approaching, I’ll offer up a more dramatic view and compare a new school year to a Hollywood Vampire, Count Dracula. 

 

In his cunning ways, Count Dracula would gain your trust, seducing you into believing he was all that and more. Inevitably, you would descend into the illusion that with him, everything will be okay. Then later, he sneaks in for a piece of you, bite after bite, sucking the life from your body. 

 

When September rolls around, we do our bests to get our children settled in school. By October, you really hope they’ve gotten there. You go through classroom, teacher, support worker, therapists and equipment changes.  You have Individual Education Plan meetings (IEP) to set out goals for your child. You explain your child’s needs to your team in the hopes that they will see what you do. You bust your butt making sure everything is ordered, installed and set up as quickly as possible. You push for training and you do training with support workers and other staff. You fight for school buses, inclusion, services, etc.  Then if you’re lucky, it’s all in place and you get to breath. If you’re not, you realize that no matter how well planned and what your goals may be for a smooth start, you’re not getting one. Like Count Dracula, all this effort takes pieces of you. It sucks you dry and you’re there, flat on your back, too tired to plump your pillow, wondering what if any fight you have left in you.

 

I’ll spare you the details on how the start of this school year has sucked the life out of me so far. Though you wouldn’t know it from my analogy above, I actually feel somewhat fearless this year. There is no sign that some of the challenges are coming to an end anytime soon, but I’m not afraid. I’m getting lots of practice fighting for my child and with that I’m stronger.  Sure, I’m tired of going through this year after year, but she’s worth it. So in those moments when I feel like I’m down for the count and wonder is there any fight left in me, I learn how to rise from the dead and grow my own fangs.

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(Wheel-ist-ic) Adj: awareness or acceptance of actual fact, real existence, or truth with relation to inclusion, accessibility and/or persons with disabilities.

Let’s Be Wheelisitic is a blog designed to open communication, share and create change through parenting, awareness, inclusion and advocacy. Over the years people have encouraged me to use my voice and experiences with my daughter to help others with or without disabilities, or parents of children with disabilities. This blog is my way of doing just that. I hope you will find this site enjoyable, educational, helpful, and rewarding.
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“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” — Rabindranath Tagore

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