I’m one of those parents who tend to leave no stone unturned. It’s always been like this, since before my son was born, a character trait that has served us well with the special needs of my son.
What I do find most challenging though is the delicate balance between advocating for my child’s needs, pushing the boundaries – which should not be there in the first place, while still nurturing the relationship with the people whom I need buy-in from for inclusive practice and implementation of accommodations.
I am yet to master this delicate balance, and I doubt that this is ever something that can be done. Especially within the school environment where your team members change on an annual basis.
I’ve already started planning for the 2017 school year. The first and last term is always the most demanding for me. I often wonder if I’m not putting too much pressure on myself to make sure that I’ve covered everything from every possible angle. I wonder if this is what other parents are doing, or is it because I am a single parent and therefore juggling it all on my own or is it that I am just plain over the top?
Who knows! It’s just that I cannot do things in half measures when it comes to my son, and sometimes I must remind myself that not everyone likes meeting with a parent who can come across as a “know it all”. Me. Even though I do my best to not always lead the conversation.
I am learning to listen, bite my tongue and listen some more. It is important that I allow others to share their knowledge and experience with me. There is value in my silence. Not easy for me!
I am experiencing a different kind of parenting, one where I feel like the next move I make will be life changing – that realisation that not everything needs to be a barrier. The success in what I need to achieve now will depend on how I approach this next step towards accommodation and inclusion. I need to delicately guide towards the objective I want to achieve, ensuring that the necessary measures are put in place to allow for a smooth transition every year.
You may think I am talking in riddles here, but this is exactly how my mind is working now. Many different pieces, each strategically placed for the best possible outcome for my son.
Opening myself up for the next move! There are no opponents, only team players.