As the Director of the preschool he attended, I was a witness to everything. I remember peering into the camera, watching him in his classroom, and every so often I would stop what I was doing and just stare in disbelief thinking, “is this my child?”. I knew that his behavior wasn’t appropriate but I was told time and time again to, “be a mother, not an educator!” or “you’re just too overprotective!”. I even had moments thinking maybe it was because he knew I worked at the preschool and he wanted “extra attention.” My motherly instincts echoed something different.
I reached out to CPSE (Committee on Preschool Special Education) who thought I was missing a screw myself. I explained that I felt my son was having difficulties focusing and with his speech and was misbehaving due to frustration. When the test results were placed in my hand I was not surprised but my heart still ached. His language skills were delayed and it indicated he had difficulties with attention. I didn’t want him to be looked at as “different” in or out of school.
My husband was in denial, in fact my entire family was, when he was diagnosed with a speech and language delay. I remember crying in the shower and having deep discussions with my husband when he told me I was overanalyzing, I felt insane. I was sick to my stomach and was so torn. I needed to do what was right for my child so I took him to a neurologist where he was diagnosed with a mild case of Aspergers syndrome and ADHD.
Determined to avoid medication, I transferred him to another school that had all necessary services on site. He received OT (Occupational Therapy), PT (Physical Therapy), and Speech and Language services. He thrived and he was happy there with all the support he needed. Later, he attended public school and was placed in a mainstream classroom, he regressed and took a turn for the worse. My son’s year in public school was my worst nightmare as he was so unhappy. He became a boy I no longer knew.
We revisited the neurologist and this time my husband and I made the choice to place our first born on medication. Like many others, the first medication was not the right match and we went through several in order to get where we are today. It was a rough road but we made the choice to medicate because we needed our boy to remain focused in class and receive the education that he so well deserves.
For more extensive information and a resource for preventative health information please visit UHC Latino
Today, he is in a ICT (Integrated Co-Teaching Class) and has an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) that allows him to work at his own pace. He is currently on one medication with minimal side effects and I have my boy back! He is happy, healthy, and progressing nicely in his third grade class and I couldn’t be more proud of him for facing his obstacles proudly and with determination.