As I might have imagined, being a sibling of special needs children is tough, but it’s harder for my big guy than I expected it to be. He has to go with me to countless doctor appointments and wait hours upon hours in waiting rooms. I wish I could do something about that, but for the last nine months, and right now, I can’t.
This isn’t just your average four-year-old. He is special too. He is intellectually advanced. In reading up on kindergarten readiness, I’ve found that he was academically ready… when he was two. But he won’t meet the age requirement for kindergarten until he’s almost six. That’s a year and a half away. For now, he’s stuck at home, er, in waiting rooms. Everyone asks, “What about preschool?” Yeah, what about preschool? We’ve all seen the public service announcements saying every child should go to preschool, just like every child should eat vegetables. But the truth is, preschool is not accessible to everyone. Nor are quality, organic vegetables for that matter, but that is another soapbox for another day.
With me having to give up my income to meet my children’s needs, and being in the red just to feed mouths, the extravagant cost of preschool just isn’t in the cards for us. It breaks my heart too, because we already paid registration (and my husband got in line at 1:00am to do so), for our big guy to go to school. We were so excited! But his brothers’ needs are now a bigger priority, and I grieve my big guy’s potential and hate myself for choosing one child over another. I pray this doesn’t do any long-term damage to his overall development. I mean, I really never imagined not putting my children in preschool. And the irony is, his younger brother will likely start preschool before he will, because of his special needs. Grrrr. Life is so unfair.
Now to gloat, I mean, beam with pride and admiration. My big guy, without lessons or drills, reads and does arithmetic. And I’m not even talking about just slowly sounding letters out aloud. He now can look at a three-letter word and just say the word out loud. I don’t know how he’s learning this on his own! I just want to reward him really big! The odds are stacked against him, he isn’t getting the advantage of education, which his peers are receiving, and he continues to forge ahead! Way to go! He has been adding since, well, I think since he knew how to count. I’ve noticed he can subtract too. He has a goal of earning six tokens, and each time he gets one, he always knows how many more he needs.
This guy is such a talker, and has lots of questions, which I don’t always have the time and brain space to answer, but he figures a lot out on his own. He ends up telling me how things work, and why things are done the way they are. He is incredibly observant. Nothing gets past him.
While I would love to nurture his intellect with an education, I couldn’t be more proud of my big guy’s accomplishments and stamina. I love him, and hope I can reward him greatly!