Milestones of childhood development. Naplan.. Should a child with Asperger’s participate for the sake of inclusion, fairness or even to have an objective(?) assessment of your child’s academic level through these school tests?
I still haven’t made up my mind about it. We have a year to go before I have to, I guess..
But it made me think about my own competitiveness as a parent.
As a baby, Nemo started sitting at a normal age (is it 6 months?) and went on to crawling. For a quite a while. It always bugged me a little when parents boasted about their kids walking at 8 months and insistently asking me : “does he walk yet ? does he?!” I thought ‘geez, give it time, he certainly will. He’ll be a talker.’
When he was finally walking at 16 months, I still was relieved. Coincidently, he had delayed teeth and was chubby enough to pass as a giant baby (I am only 5’3). Strangers now complimented me on his early steps. Whatever!
Fast forward 6 years and my son is diagnosed Asperger’s, and I know there are certain things he will learn only with difficulty, later than others or never. It does hurt a little. Mostly for him.
But I have to work on myself not to be envious our ungracious with parents that praise their NT kids achievements, or worse, take them for granted. And I thought of my mum..
My mother was a complex creature to say the least, and there were things in her life that she longed for and things she missed out on that she regretted. But these things were always attainable goals or objects that she could have afforded, had she taken the right decisions, or had life not turned another way.
I have never seen or heard my mother envious of a professional position, personal possessions or a relations that were completely out of her reach.
Mum would throw her hands up and – not naively, but sincerely – admire the beautiful villas people had at the waterfront when we were taking a walk through the rich suburbs of my hometown. I would probably mutter something like ‘they got it easy’ or ‘.. should share their wealth!’ as the socially critical and righteous teen I was. And I would not enjoy the view at all.
But the lesson I take from it today, is that I want to be able to enjoy watching other children progress and thrive in ways my son will never do, without comparing him or me to these families, because acceptance is the first step to being able to reach your own goals, your own milestones. At least some of them.
My son deserves this focus. And he will have his very own milestones and his own achievements. And we will praise him for it with all our heart.
I am thankful today to Renee to make me think about that and to my mother for her healthy attitude on other people’s riches.
So I am actually linking this as a Thankful Thursday, even if it’s just after midnight already…