Our son just turned twelve. The older numbers mean different things in the real world now. If he has a tantrum now and lashes out, law enforcement can become involved. While we see the same child, others see a big twelve-year-old who should “know better.”
Like every child from the beginning of time, our boy is seeking his independence. Fortunately, he has a buddy next door and they can ride their bikes around the block. Sometimes, I hold my breath and hope for the best. His impulsive nature can make questionable things seem like a good idea at the time.
Middle school is also looming ahead of us. Leaving the safety net of his elementary school and the supportive, kind staff is, frankly, terrifying to my child and me. The school staff are trying to prepare us for the difference in the level of support we will receive between the two schools.
We still have choices we need to make. One is whether we will move to a different district with a school that’s more likely to meet his needs. As parents, we’ll do almost anything for our kids.
All in all, I have to say, while I thoroughly enjoyed the baby years, these growing-up years are pretty amazing, too. Scary? Definitely. But watching him grow, learn and be himself is pretty amazing, too.
If you also have a child who will be a teenager soon, you can find information here to help you plan.
Once we know why segregation, oppression and unemployment occur, barriers can be removed and the quality of life for people living with disabilities will improve.