Yesterday I had a meeting that made me sad. I am guessing as a parent of a child with significant disabilities it is understandable that meetings which involve the topic of high school graduation are tough. The meeting was sponsored by the district to guide those of us with special needs children as to the requirements for NYS. It is a good idea for someone like me who never went to high school in NY to learn the requirements and what will happen to my child.
A majority of the talk was about the Regents. It talked about them only having to pass one Regents exam instead of the regular 5 other students have to pass. Well that was fine and good, except that M2 will never take a Regents exam. She has never been assessed by statewide exams because she is considered “significantly disabled to the point her disabilities impact her ability to successfully take and or pass regular exams.”
I am not arguing, please I know the truth. It hurts at times like this though because while the other families are talking about automotive and career courses for their child, I am left in the dust as my kid will have to learn life skills. It is appropriate I do understand but when you are the only parent in this category and a majority of the talk is not about something your child will ever be able to do, well it makes me really sad. Let’s face it I have two kids in this situation, neither will get a real diploma.
But I love my kids to pieces and I try hard not to compare them to others. I am happy with what they have achieved and know that I did play a part in that overall. Its just sometimes the grief from the loss I struggle with in general. The knowing and accepting are one thing, the emotions, well I still have not worked them out. But I know I am not alone. I know other parents in my kids class will be having the same “life skills” discussion with the school psychologist that I had yesterday. But yesterday sitting alone with the other parents of differently achieving children, it was sad and I did feel alone.