A sassy, crafty mama bird from Los Angeles
raising a very sweet little girl with Autism
and a new baby boy in the Midwest... and other stuff, too.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Five

"1, 2, 3, 4...."
-Feist
Five. It's coming. Five is a very big number for moms like me. First of all, we think we will be done with all this special needs stuff by five: the therapy, the worry, the "special" stuff. I think the average age to start this journey is about 2 and we're often told that if we bust our asses now and cram early intervention down the throats of our kids, then by five years old (school age), they'll be "done". Of course, I started this with Little Bird when she was 6 months old, so I've basically been doing it her whole life so far. Will I have to do it for the rest of her life, too? I get so jealous of people who only worry about where their kids will go to school or who to invite to their birthday parties; It's not that I don't think they feel like those are big problems, but they'll pass. I'm here worrying if this is forever. And it just might be. Five. It's when kids start school. It's the age that all the kids she was a baby with will start school. She will not. She's just not ready. I worry that if I put her in the public school system now, they'll stick her in a special needs class and I wonder how hard it is to escape once you're "in the system." I can't imagine it's very easy to blend in socially once you're in that system, either. She'll have to be six when she starts Kindergarten, if she's ready then. Five. The best outcome for kids with ASD is reserved for those who have developed language by five. Five. Last January when Little Bird turned four, a fellow warrior mom told me "you're gonna LOVE four!" Her kid made loads of progress from four to five. My bird's got a month left to make me love four. So far... meh. No joke, just thinking about five makes me sick to my stomach. It's universal among moms like me- we all feel it and we all get it. I can tell another warrior mom that I'm feeling upset, depressed because my girl's about to turn five and she'll totally get it. Totally get it. Five. Little Bird will be five in 40 days. But who's counting?

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