Friday, May 31, 2013

What Numbers Can't Define

Today is Peter's IEP meeting.  It's a non-fun meeting where teachers and therapists try to focus on all the positive gains your special needs child has accomplished while trying to trouble shoot the areas that are "problem areas" and I have to "sit in the truth" of all the ways Peter is in no way, shape, or form even close to other kids his age.

I do have to say that we are blessed to live in the town that we are in because the special education program has always been generous and supportive.  I know lots of people have had to fight long and hard to get their kids the services they need.  Honestly, we have always been given everything we have asked for.  Thank-you, God!  (and that's why we can never move out of our town!)

This year in particular is a 3 year re-evaluation meeting which means that Peter underwent a whole bunch of extra testing...that generated many, many pages of reports for me to read.  Well...skim.  Well..most of them. I'm trying!

It's a tad depressing.  Like the meeting, the reports force me to see my child and his struggles put into numbers on paper.

Is it a surprise?....not at all.

But it still hurts.

When I finished reading the psychological assessment(7 pages and yes, I did read the whole thing!), and the numbers staring at me on the page telling me that my almost 12 year old has cognitive and learning abilities equal to that of a 3 year old in two areas, a 5 yr 10mth old in another area, and a 6 year old in yet another made me take a deep, painful breath and think, "Ok, God, what the hell am I supposed to do with this?"

Since I tend to "numb out" for a while before all my emotions seep through, it gives me a short hiatus to pray and try to figure it all out...hopefully before the crash of emotions!

After I read the report I was sitting on the couch with the beginnings of a headache.  Luke was asleep but Kate had a longer nap today and was walking around playing and being cute.  She found Peter sitting on the floor with his IPad.  Kate loves him....she calls him "Pete".  Kate pokes at him and Pete makes her laugh.  They were playing like this tonight when Peter called out, "I take a picture?"  Which, in Peter speak means he wants me to take a picture...

I got up off the couch to see this....

This was the gift I was given tonight while I wrestled with my thoughts and feelings.

To remind me that my son is more than his academic and intellectual inabilities.......

Peter has a great capacity to love and be loved.

Kate loves him because he is "Pete".....and "Pete" obviously adores his baby sister, too!

When Jay was getting Peter ready for bed tonight, Peter wasn't listening very well.  Jay told him, "Peter you are frustrating me!"

And Peter said, "Why?"

Jay answered, "Because you aren't going to bed!"

I looked at was the first time Peter ever asked the question, "Why?"  He has never, ever said it before.

It's amazing how one simple word can mean so much!

So, I am wearing my Alex and Ani 'Hope' bracelet to the meeting to remind me that no matter what is said, God has a plan for Peter and a purpose that is more than a sum of his skills....or numbers on a report.

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.