Being part of special education as both parent and professional has been an incredible journey. It has offered me insights that I would have not had otherwise. While the insights come with a great amount of information and preparation for our future, it also brings to mind that some things might have been better to not know, until I need to know. Tossing these around have been a continual part of my process, both as parent and professional.
I grapple with the eye-witness knowledge on so many levels. I struggle seeing other parents thrown into the system of limited resources after years of a mostly supported academic setting, to realize that some of their hopes and dreams are dissolving before their very eyes. I struggle seeing the kids realize their limitations after the same countless years of overly supported academic settings. Being frank, the endless amounts of supported academics that have little impact on how to ride a bus, count money, advocate, and problem solve. The adult world doesn’t easily have paraprofessionals lurking in the wings to provide support. I struggle seeing the reality of my girls next setting.
On the other hand, knowing what I know has sparked me to be even more adamant about functional skills and work experience. My hope is that my girl will continue to build skills in the work area and be able to move into a similar volunteer position once leaving high school. I realize the limitation of public transposition in this city and have a long term plan to move to a part of the city that she may be able to catch a bus. I have also learned that I must prepare my life for the days that will no longer be spent with me working and her at school. I have learned that tapping into her skills and interests and finding meaning and income in my life is essential. I have also learned that our relationship will once again shape into something that I may not have realized or even known. I know that with that shaping, comes an opportunity to see a different aspect of myself and my girl.