Back With a Bang & a Whimper
Kindergarten, Day One

The Road To Here

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I woke up this morning to discover that a big giant kid crept in and ate Noah up last night.

Noah-first-day-k-2011-1

I was pretty annoyed, so I walked him to the neighborhood bus stop and sent him off to school with a bunch of other big kids. Whatever.

***

The other parents snapped pictures as their kids lined up and boarded the bus. I just stood there. I'd abandoned my camera on our front step because Noah was having a hard morning and me standing around trying to capture the preshus memories of childhood rites of passage was clearly NOT HELPING. He didn't want to get out of bed, he didn't want to get dressed, he didn't want a shirt with too many buttons and he didn't want breakfast and he CERTAINLY didn't want to walk to the bus stop. 

But of course the minute we rounded the corner and he spotted other kids at the bus stop his anxiety melted. He cheerfully climbed on the bus and stopped mid-step to turn around and give me the most picture-perfect first-day-of-school wave in the HISTORY of first-day-of-school waves. 

I waved back. I bit my lip. I turned around and walked home. 

Noah will spend part of his day in the mainstream kindergarten classroom. Mostly the "easy" stuff like homeroom, lunch, art, recess. Close to 30 kids with one teacher. (Who, okay, is a dude. And Ezra's preschool teacher [he starts next week] is a dude. Lots of dudes all of a sudden!) The rest of the day he'll be in a smaller special education class. He'll get one-on-one OT once a week and other support services as-needed for issues related to attention, behavior, anxiety, sensory stuff. It's all good. We're extremely pleased and are hoping for a mostly-smooth year. We're also continuing to take Noah to private services every week to plug the holes in his IEP, because we still aren't that idealistic. Ain't our first rodeo, and all.

I get asked from time to time about the whole blogging-about-Noah thing, and it's a totally fair question. (Provided it's asked in a way that doesn't assume 1) that it's something that has NEVER EVER OCCURRED TO ME TO THINK ABOUT, and 2) that there's only one right answer, and that it is not the one I've come up with.) 

Here's the thing: Yes, I suppose it is possible that Noah's classmates might one day read this blog and learn that he experienced developmental delays. It is possible. Likely? I dunno. I imagine by the time they're of the age where they're Googling each other and allowed to visit random blogs with R-rated langauge unsupervised, Noah will have his own online presence that will supercede this one in the search results, or this blog will be offline or entries will have been removed (I do that, sneakily like, sometimes) and hey, if kids really want to spend hours and hours tracking down an unformatted cache of overwrought ramblings from somebody's boring old MOM on Wayback Machine, well...Noah has my blessing to mock the SHIT out of them right back. 

(I also own the possibility that any of my children might one day look at me and say, "Wow, I really wish you hadn't done that," about blogging or posting pictures or hell, any number of parenting choices we make that might, in hindsight, suck.)

But the fact is, other kids don't need to do all that much to figure out some of the things I've shared here, if they want to. They just need an older sibling with a yearbook, because Noah's name and picture have been in there for the past two years, as part of the district's preschool program. 

And they'll see him leave the classroom every day. That part worried me, as hypocritical as that probably sounds.

I asked the special education teacher about it on Friday: Do the other kids...notice? Do they ask? Do they figure it out? 

No, she assured me. Just about every kid gets "pulled out" at some point during the day or week. There's a large ESOL population and those kids go to their own classroom too. Some kids need handwriting help, or speech therapy for lisps or stutters. Others go to special reading groups -- both remedial and gifted. Some kids see the school pyschologist, some get tutoring, and all of this happens in mysterious "other" rooms than the homerooms, so no one knows why anyone is leaving. When everyone is special...no one is. Huh.

"Mostly, the kids who stay behind think the ones who leave are lucky," she said. 

And really, Noah IS lucky. He has an amazing barrage of services being made available to him, even in an age of crazy district budget cuts and school overcrowding. He has received great services from this school already, in addition to all the private therapy and camps and whatnot. 

And he is lucky because once upon a time, his mother poured her heart out to the Internet when she feared her baby might be speech delayed. And when she found out that he was. And when she first heard of "Sensory Processing Disorder" and "Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified" and Asperger's and dyspraxia and ADHD and any number of acronyms and diagnosis codes that have shown up in paperwork or conversations. 

He is lucky because when I did that, people listened. And they helped. They left comments and emails and sent me book and website recommendations and phone numbers and taught me how to be his advocate and let me cry on their shoulders both virtually and in real life. They taught me how to write social stories and that visual schedules help and have you talked to the miracle workers at The Treatment & Learning Centers? They donated money and a kick in the pants when I was stressed and hesitant about an insanely expensive private school tuition bill. They told me I would never, ever regret spending that money and they were 100% right. They taught me not to be afraid or ashamed, but let me know that it was okay to feel that way sometimes.

You listened. You shared. You taught. You helped.

Thank you.

I don't really feel compelled to share the daily ups and downs of raising a challenging child quite the way I used to, when Noah was little and baffling and I felt so lost and overwhelmed all the time. He's big and still baffling but...we got this. More or less. Some days are better than others, just like always. We're trying some new things and re-introducing some old things that stopped working so well but seem to help again but mostly we just...enjoy being around our boy. Who enjoys going places and doing things except for the places and things that he doesn't. We just have to try to keep it all straight, and then be prepared when he changes the rules on us again. No biggie. 

But, you know. I'll still keep you posted. Don't worry. 

In the meantime, though, one small favor: If your child comes home from school and tells you about how some kids talk funny or can't sit still or can't keep quiet or don't like to be touched and those kids get pulled out of the classroom during math and reading and science and asks you where do those kids go? And why? 

Tell them that gee, you can't say for sure. But those kids sound pretty lucky. 

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Comments

Victoriajane

Aww, I'm all choked up! Beautiful post and good luck to Noah for the first day (and the rest of the days) at big school!

Avath

Noah is my favorite kid in the whole world just from your stories. If kids ever google him in the fuure and "find him out" I hope they'll read the comments we post, as they will then see how much Noah is loved across the world.

Heather

Getting all teary-eyed here. I'm going to have to tell my coworkers my allergies are flaring up again.

Michelle Baum

I'd say he's not lucky, he's DAMN lucky. Hope his day was fantastic!

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah

When kids get pulled out for special help in our elementary school the other kids don't bat an eye. I don't know how they did it, or maybe so many of them need sop many different types of help, that it seems totally normal to my kids.

So normal that when they themselves started getting pulled out of class they never thought to mention it to me.

Things seems different than when we were little.

Thank God.

Karen

My first grader (but not until tomorrow! that fact is important!) was pulled out for various services last year (and will be this year) and it's true that the other kids don't notice at ALL. He uses a slant board in the classroom and I had similar concerns about the "difference" of it all, but again, they just don't notice.

If you're still hoping for a picture from his first day, you might grab your camera for when he gets off the bus this afternoon. I did both last year and I love them equally. The stress level isn't likely to be there at all by then, and you'll have that first-day photo with the big yellow bus as a backdrop.

I hope he had a fabulous day!

chatty cricket

true story- Cate was in kindergarten last year, and sure enough, kids were pulled out all day for all sorts of reasons, even some kids who just went for half day while others stayed for full day. She never noticed anything at ALL different about the kids who were leaving for xyz reason, she didn't even really know why they were leaving. Just that they did, and that was the end of that. Maybe it's because she's our oldest, and she's still pretty innocent and accepting of everyone and doesn't really notice differences that aren't physical, and doesn't care about the physical differences she does see, but it's TRUE all I heard about it was how so and so was lucky because so and so got to go home after snack, or go read with Miss Kate, or whatever.

Noah will be awesome. And the school, it sounds like they have their shit together, Amy, and know how to make this happen without making anyone feel obvious or singled out.

Suzanne

Awww.

I can relate on soooo many levels. Mine started 10th grade in the perfect setting for him. Meanwhile, my younger son, even knowing so much about his brother, thinks he's lucky to go to a school where they don't have a dress code!

Aimee

I'm a speech path in a public school system and the kids who are not pulled always BEG to come with me! Going to speech/OT/PT, etc. is a big party and everyone wants to be invited!

Aimee

I'm a speech path in a public school system and the kids who are not pulled always BEG to come with me! Going to speech/OT/PT, etc. is a big party and everyone wants to be invited!

Brandy K

Thank you, for the last part. I'm an Aspy mom and each year (we're in 2nd grade now), I know the kids will notice more. So thanks for reminding the mainstreamers that they can help!

Brandy K

Thank you, for the last part. I'm an Aspy mom and each year (we're in 2nd grade now), I know the kids will notice more. So thanks for reminding the mainstreamers that they can help!

Brandy K

Thank you, for the last part. I'm an Aspy mom and each year (we're in 2nd grade now), I know the kids will notice more. So thanks for reminding the mainstreamers that they can help!

Ginger

What a beautiful post! Thanks for posting about it all. I know it has helped me as we have gone through challenges with our twins. I emailed you long long ago when I was so down about our fertility trials. Well those trials produces lovely twin boys who turned 3 yesterday. Anyway, it helps knowing you aren't alone sometimes. So Thank You for sharing Noah's story.

Olivia

Best wishes to Noah and the whole family Kindergarten.

I'm curious what ESOL stands for. I've seen both ESL - English as a Second Language, and ENL - English as a New Language, but I can't figure out ESOL. English as a Special Other Language?

Brandy K

And sorry for saying thank you three times. After two, I'm sure it just gets annoying.

el-e-e

Aww. Happy first day to you and to Noah!! Can't believe how grown-up he looks in these pictures!

Hope it's a wonderful school year for all of you.

summer

I have one in the developmentally delayed pre-k program at the primary school here. it's a weird world. (I just had to make an eleventh hour cheese sandwich as my husband was pulling out of the driveway because my son found out I'd put the wonrg thing in his lunch box) His class is a full day, 4 days a week with visits to the OT periodically.

I hope your son loves school as much as mine does. He has a blast.

Susan

I'm with Sarah. Two of mine, who are happy teenagers now,(I KNOW; those two words don't go together! Don't tell anyone!!) were among those pulled out of class. Nobody ever said a word - it was just another part of the day. The only kids I ever hear my three kids talk about are the ones who are always in trouble for good reason. My kids are terrified and admiring of them all at once. You guys are such great parents! You got this!

Roberta

My god, those brown eyes in that first photo...he's so handsome. Go Noah! One thing I have learned from you and from many other bloggers who share their wonderful, not-"typical" kids with us - I have learned how much I don't know, and what hurts you and your kids, and I have learned that I will try to be kind and understanding to/of your kids, and to explain to my own kid all the "whys" so that your kids can be accepted and loved and not hurt. Thank you for that.

MsCellania

I LOVE this post!
I will also add that Ezra and Ike will one day be jealous of 'all the special stuff that Noah 'gets' to do!" and you will want to laugh or yell or do forehead whacks. But you won't. You will just say "Yes. Noah gets to do those things. You will get to do 'extra' stuff too. How about some wrestling?!!!!" (or whatever you use to distract your boys).

AmyH

I KNEW I shouldn't read this post before my meeting. I'm not new here. I am slapping myself in the face. My very teary, red face. grrr.

Congrats to you and good luck to Noah. My daughter started kinder last week so I know the feeling.

kellyannecat

Oh, this was so lovely. Congratulations on Noah's first day, and the journey there. I've learned so much about parenting, about kids, and about life in general, too, from reading your blog. I really have, so, thank you.

It's been a long time since I was in elementary school, but I very vividly remember thinking that the kids who got pulled out of class for special services were such lucky ducks.

@tiffany

And on top of that, some other people with kids with similar needs, and maybe even some people who don't have kids yet, got to learn from your experience and are now better equipped to identify, ask for, and provide what their children and hypothetical future children need. Yeah, there may come a point where one or another of your kids is embarrassed by all of this and wishes you hadn't, but then they'll grow up and put it in context, and they might even feel lucky that they live in a time where parents don't have to be so isolated by their kids' unique needs.

Amy M.

*sniff* Beautifully written, Amy. My son is starting Kindergarten later this week. In Preschool, the only kid he talked about was the 1 that was mean to him. It's hard to be angry with a 4-5 y-o bully, but I was plenty angry with his in-denial parents & the school!

Amalah

@Olivia English for Speakers of Other Languages.

@everyone else SOOOO glad to hear the teacher wasn't telling me a nice pretty story. I'm with Sarah: Thank God things have changed since we were kids.

Tracy

My little guy has autism and still very very behind on expressive speech. He is in 1st grade, and is opposite to what Noah does - Robbie spends the majority of the day in a self-contained special needs classroom. Last year he spent an hour a day in a regular K, doing language arts stuff and art and music. This year he will do more, once they decide which classroom is best for him to join. Oh, and he gets A-PE, OT, ST, and special computer programs, and we're getting a new program for autism in the schools.

I worried about that issue, what do the other kids think of this little guy who joins them every day? And you know what? They know him. They say hi, at the grocery store, and I don't know who they are, and they will say "Robbie comes to my class."

It works out. I am glad that Noah is doing so well. We just keep taking it one day at a time, and somehow keep inching forward. As far as blogging about it? Well... quite frankly, I think I may even hope that Robbie hates the fact that I blogged about all this someday. Because that means he'll understand and care about it - and we'll have reached some sort of finish line.

QnMidnight

"...and Asperger's and dyspraxia and ADHD and any number of acronyms and diagnosis codes that have shown up in paperwork or conversations."

This makes me think of my family / childhood quite a bit. I have two brothers (4 and 8 years younger than I am) who have been diagnosed with all of these (and more!) at one time or another. It's also very likely that my father had (or has, no one's seen him in years) Bipolar disorder. They all seem to run in my family, and this has made my husband and I very nervous when it comes to planning our family: what if we have a child with similar special needs - are we ready for that challenge?
Your blog gives me hope that maybe we can handle it after all. Thank you!

Liz

Gosh, Amy. I first started reading when Noah was little and Ezra was.....MUCH littler. And now look! Noah's come so far. You've come so far. I'm choked up at this milestone you three, four, FIVE! have come upon. Congratulations! It's so bittersweet, yeah?

Gina

It is so awesome that your school district is able to help Noah in so many ways! Good for him! Unfortunately at my son's school (which is the BEST school in our state, btw)their attitude toward the ADHD thing is, 'suck it up, kid, and make sure you take your meds'.

Also, I can vouch for it being true that kids are jealous of the ones who get to leave class for any reason- and that's worked to our advantage because it made my anxiety ridden son ok with leaving to go to a 20 minute session once a week with a counselor for 'social skills' class. If it weren't for the fact that other kids thought him a "lucky dog" for getting out of class, he'd never agree to going to the session. And at only 20 minutes a week, it makes a noticeable difference. I can only imagine how helpful going regularly would be. Noah's a lucky dog, for sure!

Lori

They are very lucky. My six year old granddaughter is one of those lucky lil gals. God bless those rooms and all they do.

Lori

They are very lucky. My six year old granddaughter is one of those lucky lil gals. God bless those rooms and all they do.

Jessica

This is so exciting! I hope Noah has a great year.

(My children will, of course, never ever be leaving me to go to school. It's not allowed! Stay with mommy!)

Rachel

Great post from a great mom! Hugs to you & Noah! =)

CoraD

So, this post should've been labeled NSFW for the following reasons:
1) when I saw Noah's picture, I almost yelled, "Who the f**k is that teenager on Amalah's blog?"
2) reading about Noah getting on the bus, I almost cried.
3) reading about your life with Noah, I almost cried; compounded by the almost crying earlier - nearly impossibly to not cry while sitting at my desk.

You have my promise that if my girls ever ask those questions, I will respond as requested. And I will point out that they do some weird stuff too.

jodifur

Michael got pulled out for reading help last year. And I had the same worry. And I got the same answer. Other kids want to go. He was the one who didn't want to go.

Samantha

Yours is the only blog that can have me laughing one minute and teary the next (in the right places!) Congratulations to Noah and Erza in the exciting next stage of their school careers. I just wanted to add that you pay forward that support you received in the early days ten times over, because when I was lost and overwhelmed with my speech-delayed unique and quirky little child I found this blog and with it the strength to carry on. For that I will be eternally grateful. Thank you.

Elizabeth

Great post Amy! Jake started kindergarten this year too. We're on week 3 and it's going great. He was in an "all special needs" preschool class but this year gets to mainstream 2.25 hours/day and gets pulled out for the rest of the day. He has a 1 on 1 helper all day that goes with him everywhere. Jake's teacher told me that the only question his class has asked is why he wears a helmet at recess (his gait is unsteady and when there are other kids running around him it's safer). I'm actually going to talk to his class tomorrow to tell them more about Jake and let them ask me questions and sort of rally them around Jake (not something I'd recommend for you but since Jake's needs are so severe I wanted to explain why he doesn't talk etc). I'm interested to see what their questions are. I'll let you know. Noah will do great - I just know it. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. Elizabeth

LilSass

What a wonderful post with a beautiful message. May I grow up to be 1/4 of the parent you are. Truly, truly wonderful

Carrie

I love this post. All through elementary school my mom pushed for me to receive special services because I have ADD and needed extra help with focusing and math. No one listened to her until I was in 8th grade and REALLY struggling and failing. I was then placed in a special education program where I would have to leave class to take a test in a special classroom, and spend one period a day in my Special Ed teacher's classroom...mostly getting help with homework and studying. It was the absolute BEST thing to ever happen to me. At first, though, I was angry at my Mom for making me do it and afraid of what other students would think of me, but once I realized how much it helped, I honestly did NOT care at all what anyone else thought and I Thanked my Mom. Many of my classmates thought I was lucky to get extra help.

Clarabella

Godspeed, Noah, lucky in ALL kinds of ways.

Clarabella

Godspeed, Noah, lucky in ALL kinds of ways.

Christine

He is So Huge. And so lucky.

Clarabella

Godspeed, Noah, lucky in ALL kinds of ways.

Clarabella

Godspeed, Noah, lucky in ALL kinds of ways.

Clarabella

Godspeed, Noah, lucky in ALL kinds of ways.

Leigh

I don't know you or Noah personally but I LOVE HIM!!! I have two boys and my oldest is "a strong willed" child and we have our ups and downs too! Noah will do great and so will you!

Megan

Really lovely post! I struggle with my very-anxious-to-try-new-things son. I can't decide if I should force him to do an activity he doesn't want to do because I think he'll eventually love it. It's just so hard to deal with the constant tears. He starts kindergarten tomorrow and I know it will be rough in the beginning, but okay eventually. I'm so grateful he has a twin sister!

Also-I worked with someone in the journalism business who hated to read (kind of important in that line of work). She said she was diagnosed with a learning disability but her parents never did anything about it because they didn't want her getting on a "short bus." She eventually got fired because she couldn't handle the work. I know you know this already, but you are doing the right thing.

Bev

Breathtakingly brilliant and beautiful!

Whe my now 36 year old developmentally delayed son was young we lived in a small rural town. By Junior High we had moved nearer to a major city. Back then, no matter where you lived, there were not the services available that you have found for Noah. I love reading this blog; I love how your gifted writing brings all the highs and lows into focus for all who are struggling with finding the best support for their child.

My son will always struggle; perhaps Noah won't have to in the future. Thanks for continuing this blog. It's a godsend for all who have a child who learns and socializes differently. It's a godsend for me to see that we who demanded special services decades ago were apparently heard.

Amanda

I spent the first year of my elementary teaching career doing reading and writing interventions--I pulled kids out of class all day. Every single time I announced a change in my group, kids would BEG me to take them, as if I was handing out passes to freaking Disney World. Noah will blend right in!

Amanda

I spent the first year of my elementary teaching career doing reading and writing interventions--I pulled kids out of class all day. Every single time I announced a change in my group, kids would BEG me to take them, as if I was handing out passes to freaking Disney World. Noah will blend right in!

Christena

When my daughter started kindergarten, she had such a speech problem that the teacher could barely understand her. I was afraid she would be teased because the kids couldn't figure out what she was saying, and she was pulled for speech therapy. She just started 4th grade this year, and still gets pulled for speech therapy twice a week, even though her impediment is barely noticeable now. She also gets pulled for gifted reading group. To my knowledge she hasn't been teased at all. If she has, it hasn't been enough of an issue for her to mention it to me. All my fingers and toes are crossed for an awesome year!

Jenn

God bless those other classrooms!

(sigh)... Here's to growing up and letting go.... just a teensy weensy bit more.....

Rebecca M.

This post made me cry and cheer a little at the same time.

I had speech therapy when I was in elementary school (going on twenty years ago now - eesh) and no one really seemed to notice or care when I left the class. (I went with a few other kids, so that probably helped.) I remember it being really fun, actually. The therapists threw us a part when we graduated out.

sarah

A-freaking-MEN.
I JUST left a meeting telling a parent exactly the same thing about ALL kids being pulled. In elementary school they all want to know when its their turn to go. Attention is attention; you'd rather they get it as remediation than for disciplinary action.
And there are MEN TEACHING PRESCHOOL and KINDERGARTEN near you? Clone them. We need more of that in schools.

Kim

Amy, my grandbaby was born around the same time Noah was. I've always enjoyed your blog, and even though she was developmentally normal, she had some significantly disfiguring facial hemangiomas that have made her early childhood a little challenging. They are resolving and getting better with maturity. Just like Noah. And like Noah, she starts kindergarten this week.

What a ride it's been, huh?

bethany actually

I remember when I was in grade school, being totally jealous of the kids who got to leave the classroom a couple times a week for speech therapy or whatever. They got to have popcorn sometimes, and they didn't have to sit through a boring math lesson.

And this:

"We just have to try to keep it all straight, and then be prepared when he changes the rules on us again. No biggie."

is pretty much true of every parent and every kid ever. :-)

Hope

Love this post! I just began dropping my two year old off at preschool a couple of times a week and keep fighting off the urge to sob, "just be niiiice to him," as I walk away.

Karen

Of course you should blog about Noah. Somewhere there is a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, family friend who is worried and anxious and scared about their own child. Hopefully one or two of them will find this. You've done the legwork, let someone/anyone benefit from all your work. Maybe some misunderstood kid will be pointed in the right direction because you blogged about Noah. It takes a village.....

Katie

Thank YOU, Amy, for sharing.

Virginia

You rock! And Noah IS lucky. And you are spot on with that whole other kids who take time to search someone's boring mom blog to get tease fodder being lame.

Thank you for sharing. There are still days when it is incredibly important for me to know that I am not alone as the parent of a special needs kid whose disabilities are sort of invisible at first glance. :)

Virginia

oh - and to Bev up there who fought for her kid all those years ago. Thank you!!!

Virginia

oh - and to Bev up there who fought for her kid all those years ago. Thank you!!!

MamaKaren

Wow. I've been reading your blog since before you got pregnant with Noah, so I have a really hard time accepting how grown up he is.

Hoss gets pulled for counseling and work with the special educator (he started that partway through 2nd grade and is now in 5th), and none of the other kids seemed phased by it. Between the various resource programs and the GT "curriculum extension units," the classrooms need revolving doors sometimes!

margie s

Been there, sort of. Two things: 1. I would have felt like an idiot if I found out too late that all it took to fix some stuff (not all stuff) was money. Regret can cost more than money. And 2. Every family gets a different right answer. Hugs to all.

Dani

I've had the same fears that the other kids will notice that my son can't run as well or can't really jump and just can't keep up as well. Or that he doesn't look them in the eye when he talks or that he's obsessed with volcanos. I want so badly to protect him from everything but so far his friends just know that "that's Jeffrey". It's how he is and they love him anyway. He's starting kindergarten next week but he'll be at the daycare he's been at for five years with all of his friends. My fears come next year when he really branches out of our safe little zone.
It has greatly helped me to read you (and your commenters) and feel like it's not so bad and we'll all get through it fine.

Brooke

I remember being very jealous of the kids who got pulled out of class to go to a special reading class. It never once occurred to me that it was remedial reading. They definitely seemed so lucky.

Brooke

I remember being very jealous of the kids who got pulled out of class to go to a special reading class. It never once occurred to me that it was remedial reading. They definitely seemed so lucky.

Brooke

I remember being very jealous of the kids who got pulled out of class to go to a special reading class. It never once occurred to me that it was remedial reading. They definitely seemed so lucky.

Walkingborder (Karen)

Those kids (your kid) are damn lucky! They have parents and school care givers who care enough to do their best to give them the best education and means of success possible! So yes, I'd say they are lucky!

Kirsty

I have no personal experience of any type of "delay" but I can say that since my younger daughter's first day in the second year of kindergarten (her first day in her new school) she has been "in love" with a boy called Clément. Half the girls in her class are also "in love" with Clément. These girls are also wildly jealous of his personal classroom assistant (who actually spends more time helping other kids now as Clément has come on leaps and bounds - they're all going to enter 2nd grade next Monday) and vied relentlessly for his (Clément's) attention.
And you know what? Clément is autistic. And has sensory issues. And other 'issues' I don't know the details of.
He's been invited to every single birthday party I've heard about.
Small kids can be remarkably "tolerant". Noah is adorable and bright and funny and cute. I'm sure he'll be fine.

Thrift Store Mama

There ARE a lot of men in early childhood education around here, aren't there ? I live over in the supposedly scary county next to you and even we have men in the younger grades. (We don't have a Whole Foods, though, and we won't have one in the near future if I have anything to do with it, but I digress). I am the parent of a typical kid and you totally called me out here. Because it's upsetting for my preshus child when other kids in her class of 25 kindergarteners don't follow directions or act appropriately. I admit it, when I witness it or when she tells me about it, I'm annoyed at first. But I need to remember that she and I need to focus on her and her learning and if another kid needs to stim or something, then that's no different that if she has an itch that needs to be scratched. By having her (and me) learn to tolerate and accept these other behaviors, it ultimately increases her own control over her ability to focus on herself and not let another kid distract her.

And, yes, I will tell her that those other kids are lucky. And they are - because they are getting some extra attention they need that could be due, in part, to the advocacy of their parents !

colecam

Wow, Noah looks so grown up!!! Hope he enjoyed his first day of kindergarden!! My youngest son loves it when its his turn to go to a "special" with one of his friends. At his school they let "lucky" kids pick a friend to go with them at certain times, and everyone wants to be that friend!!

kristen howerton

I just recently decided to blog about my son's SPD. In part, because of how much learning and sanity I've received from reading the blogs of other moms, but in part because I always figure I can pull the whole blog down if I'm so inclined. I'm glad you have (and continue to) blog about these issues. Makes me feel less alone.

Lauren Eskovitz

I have been reading your blog for years. I started reading when I found your 0-40 blog when I was preggo with my daughter Margo. I have never commented on anything. But, this really moved me. I hope I can be as honest as you are when my child comes across challenges, because every child does. Thanks for everything.

Lauren Eskovitz

I have been reading your blog for years. I started reading when I found your 0-40 blog when I was preggo with my daughter Margo. I have never commented on anything. But, this really moved me. I hope I can be as honest as you are when my child comes across challenges, because every child does. Thanks for everything.

Lauren Eskovitz

I have been reading your blog for years. I started reading when I found your 0-40 blog when I was preggo with my daughter Margo. I have never commented on anything. But, this really moved me. I hope I can be as honest as you are when my child comes across challenges, because every child does. Thanks for everything.

Lauren Eskovitz

I have been reading your blog for years. I started reading when I found your 0-40 blog when I was preggo with my daughter Margo. I have never commented on anything. But, this really moved me. I hope I can be as honest as you are when my child comes across challenges, because every child does. Thanks for everything.

Lauren Eskovitz

I have been reading your blog for years. I started reading when I found your 0-40 blog when I was preggo with my daughter Margo. I have never commented on anything. But, this really moved me. I hope I can be as honest as you are when my child comes across challenges, because every child does. Thanks for everything.

Suzanne

Amen sister-friend! A great post and SO true about everything. We're in 3rd grade this year and he still thinks it's cool to get special time away from class. Hang in there!

Ali V

I'll just echo some of the others above. I was pulled out of Kinder/1st/2nd grades regularly for speech therapy and other special lessons, and it was never a big deal at all (and this is coming from someone who was a super sensitive kid). The only reaction from classmates I remember was exactly what is described above - they thought I was lucky to get out of class and go "play games" with the pretty speech therapist.

Thanks for sharing everything. As a soon-to-be parent, with lots of worries (mostly groundless I'm sure) it is comforting to read such positive, honest accounts.

Ali V

I'll just echo some of the others above. I was pulled out of Kinder/1st/2nd grades regularly for speech therapy and other special lessons, and it was never a big deal at all (and this is coming from someone who was a super sensitive kid). The only reaction from classmates I remember was exactly what is described above - they thought I was lucky to get out of class and go "play games" with the pretty speech therapist.

Thanks for sharing everything. As a soon-to-be parent, with lots of worries (mostly groundless I'm sure) it is comforting to read such positive, honest accounts.

erin

Where's the 'love' button on this thing. LOVE you all.

Missy Carvin

LOVING this post. Want to paint it a card with a big, puffy heart and stick the card in its locker. Awesome.

rachel

I can't believe Noah is going off to school! As a longtime reader and teacher, I think your response to the situation is wonderful. I had goosebumps reading this very touching post. You are an amazing mother and Noah is very, very lucky.

rachel

I can't believe Noah is going off to school! As a longtime reader and teacher, I think your response to the situation is wonderful. I had goosebumps reading this very touching post. You are an amazing mother and Noah is very, very lucky.

Lindsay

Lucky indeed.
Not that it's really the same thing, but I regularly got pulled out of class for speech therapy until 2nd(?) grade or so. No other kids ever seemed to care (beyond a little _jealousy_!), and I LOVED IT. I was more than a little bummed when they declared my speech fine. The speech therapist gave me erasers shaped like fruits when I did well! WHERE ELSE WAS I GOING TO GET THAT TYPE OF AWESOMENESS?!?

Heather Ben

Damn, you have my eyes flooding.

And yes, I promise.

Erin

What a beautiful post- and such a handsome grown-up boy your sweet Noah is! I had to wipe away tears. I hope he has a wonderful time in kindergarten. Your advocacy for Noah and your enjoyment of parenting (even the hard, barf-filled bits) is inspiring. Thank you for sharing your stories.

Maxine Dangerous

*sob* So sweet! :)

I know you have three kids and a life and a million writing assignments, but I'd like to put in my vote for you to write a book. :)

Jennifer

It's true. I worked as a math specialist and a special education teacher. When I came to take kids out of their class, other students would beg to come with me. They saw it has something fun and different than the same old classroom. Noah is so lucky to have you for a mom who is willing to fight for him. I have known moms who did not and let their kids slip away.

Jennifer

It's true. I worked as a math specialist and a special education teacher. When I came to take kids out of their class, other students would beg to come with me. They saw it has something fun and different than the same old classroom. Noah is so lucky to have you for a mom who is willing to fight for him. I have known moms who did not and let their kids slip away.

Barb

That last vacation sure did grow him up quick! Thanks for sharing and asking and answering. You're helping yourself and others as well. Best of everything Noah - you deserve it!

Jessica

I never had the privilege of having children. It just never worked out. My mom wants me to adopt one but I'm single and 44 and I know I'm I'll equipped to do it by myself.

Having said that, let me say this. I've been reading you blog since Noah was an infant. I've seen Ezra and Ike born. And lord do I feel like I know all of you. I appreciate your willingness to share and I've shared your blog with a couple of good friends who've been fortunate enough to have children on the spectrum. And yes, I consider Noah a gift. He's an amazing, bright, happy, delighted child - some things just bother him. And he's more vocal about it than we would be. He's an absolute gift, even though his nerves get wrought easily. You and Jason are stellar parents. You are both so caring, involved, and informed. Noah is lucky to have you as you are him as well as precious Ezra and perfect baby Ike. It's all gonna be so good, I can tell!!!

Mrs. Kinne

This made me tear up for all of those lucky kids who get pulled out because they're getting the things they need. (And, as a first-grade teacher, I can vouch for the fact that kiddos think nothing of another student leaving the room!) Sending a lot of love to your family this school year.

Mermil

That. was. beautiful. Now, excuse me while I weep into my keyboard.

Anon for this

I still can't believe people donated money when you had last bitched about money and then--one post later--bought a brand new car. It is just painfully obvious that you are simply deluded. You make me sick.

Anon for this

I still can't believe people donated money when you had last bitched about money and then--one post later--bought a brand new car. It is just painfully obvious that you are simply deluded. You make me sick.

Anon for this

I still can't believe people donated money when you had last bitched about money and then--one post later--bought a brand new car. It is just painfully obvious that you are simply deluded. You make me sick.

adequatemom

Great post as always. You are such a great mom and such a great writer, Amy!

PS SUCK IT, Anon.

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