I don't write about my children's special needs on here very often. I try to be careful about what parts of their stories I tell, because it's not my story and I want to respect their privacy. The reality, though, is that it is incredibly difficult. Far more difficult that I could have ever imagined…
I got a call one day, back in 2002, about a six day old African-American baby boy…three weeks later I was holding that baby in my arms as Chuck and I signed the papers to accept custody of him. Eight months later, his adoption was finalized and he legally became our son.
We knew Mordecai had special needs before we ever met him. We read all we could, have worked closely with his doctor, we have taken special training through our state, have taken him for evaluation after evaluation. I breastfed him until past his first birthday (at that point, Hezekiah was on the way!) He has been nurtured, loved, trained, fed healthy food and goes to bed at the same time every night. He's had his tonsils and adenoids out, two surgeries on his hands…He's in Cub Scouts and made several good friends…
But he rages (or, as we like to call in our house, he Grumps). I can promise you that I never, ever, give into his raging fits. But that doesn't stop him from raging. Is it an anger issue? I don't know. Does he honestly think someday he'll get what he wants by raging? I don't know.
What I do know, is that his has affected his schooling drastically. The past few years he has been a major distraction to the other children (who can do math with a screaming, raging kid in the house?). This year, he's fine as long as I don't ask him to do anything (housework, schoolwork, etc). On a good day, if I ask Mordecai to get out his school books, he will whine, say they're too hard, he can't find them, cry that he can't find a pencil, or just wander off. On a bad day, he will scream and cry. On a really bad day he might throw things. I may listen to him yell in his room for 30-40 minutes to get a 5 minute reading lesson in. At that point he's worn out from scream ing and/or completely distraught. And then there's handwriting and math.
I often wonder to myself if he would "grump" at school with a teacher and other kids…or would be be too self-conscious? I don't know…but I do know he is learning nothing this year….nothing I can see and note, at least.
Mordecai was speech delayed as a toddler. He was around five before he could use he/she consistently. He talks fine now…except, he has trouble with his memory. He often substitutes similar but completely different words (shoe:foot, ketchup:syrup, bagel: doughnut). His word usage and vocabulary strikes me almost like a stroke victim or someone who's had a traumatic brain injury….most recently while at Baskin-Robbins he had to ask me if "the brown one" was called chocolate or vanilla. It is heartbreaking for me to see him struggle so much.
And so I am considering my options for next year…and I don't think homeschooling him will be one of them…by