7th grade has begun and the school year is on it's way.
I don't know if you've had this experience but, usually we do really good with school until about four to six weeks in. It's usually about that time that, one of his quirks starts to show up and we reach our first bump in the road. I think it's a combination of work getting a little harder and fatigue of being in school for weeks on end, that does it.
This year though, that bump came sooner. A lot sooner...and not necessarily for him, but for ME.
I have already written about his challenges with making friends....and we're gonna keep working on perspective with that one. But that wasn't really the issue this time.
To give you some background...Luka has ADHD along with his Aspergers, and we have chosen not to medicate him. Instead, we use other tools, to help him focus.
One of those tools is a stability ball. Last year, Luka had a standing desk with a fidget bar which worked GREAT. This year however, we went with a really small private school and they don't really use these tools. So instead of having access to a standing desk, we decided to go back to using just the stability ball to help him concentrate (because people with ADHD have to move so that their brains can keep working).
It's that ball that has been a source of tension lately...
Not necessarily with Luka...but the school itself. Particularly the noise that it makes as it bounces up and down on the floor.
Long story short, the kids were getting annoyed with it, parents were calling in, I was told to try medicine, and the school wasn't sure they were gonna let him keep it. Add to it, the pressure of family telling me to concede (cause wouldn't it just be easier). Alot of stress...just for one little ball. All over the course of 3 days. None of the conversation, however, was about how it was helping Luka concentrate on what he was learning.
I was feeling defensive. Really defensive....and I've got to be honest. I really dug my heals in. I flared up...and I'm sure that didn't really help things.
As parents of children with special needs (and I say "special needs" because I don't know of a better term to use)...I think that we can sometimes get really indignant. I think that we can really close off...and sometimes not listen to what others are saying. We can get really protective of our kids rights ...and they do have the rights to these things.
...but I think we get use to fighting. Year after year, we get use to going up to bat for them. We wait for the first thing to come...and then we start swinging. Like I said, I flared up. I got ready to bat. I got defensive....But then I stopped. I stepped back...and I chose to see it differently.
...not everything has to be a fight. Not all things have to lead to war. There is compromise. There is consideration. We can argue all day about my side being different from your side...but how is that helping anything? The real conversation isn't about what you want VS what I want. It's about what you want AND what I want. Compromise....that's meeting somewhere in the middle.
In this situation, I needed to listen. What was the real problem? The noise. It was bothersome. The truth is other children need to be considered too....not just mine....and it's BECAUSE we ask for our children to be considered that we must also consider others. It's only fair. However, I don't agree that the solution should just be to get rid of something...especially if that something is helpful.
Some children can't concentrate with a repetitive noise going on next to them. That's something I understand. So today, I brought in a folded up sheet. I placed it under the ball...and the sound disappeared.
We'll see if that helps. At least it's a step in the right direction.
Side Note: If you have never used a stability ball before for your child, I will be creating a post soon sharing my tips and the best places to find them. So look out for that ;)