Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Colton and the "D" Word
Yesterday morning I met with Colton's teacher, principal and the school's speech pathologist. There was a lot that was said and a lot of papers that were passed back and forth. I signed them and put them in the pile. We talked about how adorable Colton is and how sweet he is. We talked about how the medicine is helping him to be a bit more focused in class, especially in the morning hours. We talked about how much he loves his mommy. We talked about how important the fourth and fifth grades will be for him because sixth grade now means the first year of junior high school. We talked about how much more patient his brothers are with him and how good they can be with him. I heard all of that. I heard all of the good things that were said about my sweet, adorable boy. I heard it and I agreed with it and I added my own comments about how great this boy of mine is. But, I also heard the "D" word and it brought me to tears. My boy has clinically and legally been diagnosed as having a disability. That is a rotten, horrible, demeaning word. I really dislike that word with all of my being. Why do we have to put the "dis" in front of a such a great word? He has so much ability! Why do we have to add those three letters to the beginning of such a great word? Sure the "D" word gives him some rights which will be very important moving forward... and we WILL move forward... we ALWAYS move forward, but it's still a word that, if I were to allow it, could define my boy. It won't define my boy, just in case you were wondering. That word will allow my boy to go to some special groups during his school week that will empower him and allow him to be aware of his weaknesses in order to make them strengths, and we WILL make them strengths, just in case you were wondering. This word will also allow me to be far more involved with decision making with my boy, including who will be teaching my boy. The teacher who will be entrusted with my boy will make a huge difference. The teacher will either encourage him based on the "ability" part of that word or that teacher will DIScourage him based on the beginning of that word. The teacher will make a big difference, and I will be there to make sure it is a positive fourth grade year for my boy. He will grow and flourish. He will show ability with a capital "A" and he will make a difference just by being him. We all deserve rights. We all deserve the ability to be ABLE. We all deserve the opportunity to be the best that we can be individually. We, as a family, will focus on what Colton's abilities are and we will strengthen them. Then we will focus on our own abilities and our own weaknesses and we will make them stronger so that we can try to keep up with Colton's abilities. Oh the places this kid will go!