Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Inclusion - it's not just for kids....

My last post, Can there be perils to over inclusion??, talked about inclusion and exclusion of our kids with special needs. But, it's not just our kids but also us who experience inclusion or exclusion among peers.

As other moms take for granted the accomplishment's of their children, we marvel at the small, often unnoticed strides of our own. When our kids "lose it" we never know if we will receive understanding glances and an offer to help, or disapproving stares. Often, we can feel on the side lines and on the margins.

The author of the blog wrongshoes.com - a mother with Asperger's syndrome writes about feeling on the outside of a group of moms in Open letter to the chatty moms at the gymastics class. I found it a wonderfully written snap shot, and I imagine we have all been there at one time or another - perhaps over and over!

I know that for me,sometimes I find comfort and "normalcy" when I spend time with parents of "ye 'ole typical kids," while at other times I feel like an impostor. For example, last night I went to a parent meeting for Jacob's high school magnet program, directly from dealing with a tantrum of Sayer's. Partly it was a relief to debate the merits of science internships versus engineering summer college programs, but I also felt somewhat detached. Part of me just wanted a martini, to be honest. Luckily, I had one after with a fellow magnet mom (brilliant idea "DW"!).

I guess I'm still dealing with that feeling of bifurcation I talked about in my Why does everything have to be so bifurcated?? post last May. Wow, that was like, six months ago, and I still haven't resolved my ambivalence! Why is it that definitive answers came so much easier when we were in our twenties and thirties?

Feeling included? Excluded? Please share all.


Anonymous said...

I can relate, but I think of it like 'compartmentalizing': I am a mom to typical kids with one group and a mom of a child on the spectrum with another (we just all talk about different things depending on the group).

I am struggling with the fact that I don't know how to parent typical children. Brian, I can read like a book, predict things, my other two..how do I deal with Pokemons (they are not supposed to trade them at school, but middle boy does, anyway and is obsessed with them, worse than any of Brian's obsessions).


Carol said...

Interesting twist; I feel like Jacob I can predict but Sayer, at times, I just can't. I guess with "typical" kids the old tried and true discipline stuff works - we need to follow rules, logical consequences, etc.

Anonymous said...

It's so so strange and ironic.