Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Update: Wesley (one year later)
Seriously! Is this happening? How is he a 5th grader already?
It's funny because when I (or anyone else) looks at Wyatt, we immediately see Wesley when he was a baby. 11 years goes by so fast Mommas. I wish someone would have told me. I'm sure someone did, I don't think you don't really get it until it's gone by. You are in the smack dab in the middle of learning about raising this kid. Not just kids in general, but *this* kid and suddenly this kid is a big kid. When we say every kid is so different, wow, is that true.
Last year around this time, I wrote about how Wes was tested for Aspergers and he was *diagnosed* with anxiety and depression in this post Aspergers & Emotional Disability or Fearfully & Wonderfully Made?. I talked about how I knew that was not Wesley's identity. I knew we had things to deal with, obviously, otherwise he would have never been tested but I also know God has a plan for Wesley's life and those words aren't included. Over the course of his 4th grade year, he was also tested for ADHD in which the results came back borderline.
Let me just say something about this, for all the parents that struggle with faith vs diagnosis. I know for some of us, we feel that if we find out whats going on that we are not standing in faith concerning the issue. But for our family, it has helped us so much.
Clearly, over the course of almost 11 years of life, we had our struggles. In and out of the principles office he went. Meetings with teachers every year since pre-school. In the beginning, we just all thought "Wow, he has a temper or boy is he emotional." Everyone else thought "Wow, you need to discipline him better or Boy is he naughty." Until the ending of 2nd grade, his teacher recognized something familiar and just made mention of it. Once we started testing, therapy & diagnosis process, he has only progressed. There has been nothing negative in the process. We are, as his parents in full control what we have him do. No one is forcing us to do anything. And we (especially I as his mother) go to the Lord about everything. If I ever needed the Lord's help, it was in this area of parenting. Seeking his wisdom concerning each of my kids individually is on my agenda-DAILY!
Wesley has had lots of prayer from my family too over his life and I am so thankful for that.
But as a mom, I appreciate just knowing I am not alone. I also appreciate knowing he is not alone. And I am learning daily how to communicate with him. It doesn't hinder my faith in God to know what I'm dealing with because I know where we stand. And I know that He is greater and lives inside of us. It doesn't help me to pretend that we haven't struggled with things. What helps us and him is knowing what is going through his mind and how he interprets things, so that I both know how to pray with and for him and also know how to communicate with him.
He is getting older, so with the territory comes eye rolling and attitude on occasion, but my biggest and main concern is that Wesley knows he can talk to Jeff or I about anything as he grows into a teenager. I make sure to sit down with the kids. I go to their rooms and talk to them about their friends, their classes, what they like and dislike. Not every day, but I do it because I want them to be able to confide in me. All of them.
Wesley is so completely different from Jada. And Jada is so completely different from Leila. It's seriously crazy how different these kids are, but I love their differences and I can see God using them so much in their lives and futures.
This past year, he was moved to public school after being in private for 6 years. He has been able to take advantage of special education and school counselors, which were not available in private. But he has not had one single issue where he even needed major intervention since switching schools. The only thing the special ed teacher has helped him with is remembering his homework each day.
He was feeling rushed at the end of the day and he would get distracted, forget his homework, which in turn would cause him to get in trouble and was creating a lot of anxiety for him the first few months of his new school. So we remedied that. And since then, he almost always is joyful, loves school and has a good attitude concerning it.
If you have ever dealt with similar issues, you can't imagine the relief we had at the end of his school year as everything turned around for him. Not a single principals office visit all year. Not a single out of schedule meeting with the teacher. And after we dealt with the homework issue, he was in a better mood, he started making friends at the end of year and he is happy. So I am happy.
Towards the end of his 4th grade year ,we received an email and had a meeting with his former principal at the private school he attended, in which he welcomed Wes back for 5th grade this year. I don't know why, but even though we had been praying for this to happen, I just didn't feel it was the right fit for Wes yet. I kept talking to the Lord about it, but something didn't feel quite right. Maybe he wasn't ready, I don't know. But I just followed that quiet voice inside me. So he is back in public. Next year he is off to middle school and we have another big decision to make, obviously. Do we keep him in public or put him back in his old school where the kids knew about some of his shenanigans. I wonder some days if he still has a reputation or if he will be accepted because the Wesley they knew caused quite a commotion some days.
As the year progresses, I am keeping the middle school situation in prayer obviously. I see so much improvement. I am so thankful. He is so full of love. And he is so smart. And I push him a little socially & physically to do things that he doesn't always want to do (because he'd rather be on the computer in his room), but he is always happy afterwards and wants to improve even more so.
This year has been a defining year for me as a parent. I have never thought more about intentional parenting as I have this past year. And I love it.