My son needs and receives a fair amount of help. He needs interventions that could make a major difference for him in his life. And I know that early intervention is key. The earlier he gets the help the sooner we can rewire his brain to function more typically and lesson the gap between him and his peers.
Because he receives support services at school, he is in school full-day while the other children his age only attend for half day. And because he receives help from various teachers and therapists and gets homework from each of them separately he has considerable homework after school.
He also has speech therapy, occupational therapy, vision therapy, and appointments with neurologists, med checks and more.
And he is not even six yet!
In the middle of the school year, he finally hit his wall. I think its safe to say that he was officially burnt out. Done. He works his butt off and he was tired. Because even though he has a list of letters labeling him, he is also still a kid. A boy. He needs to run and play and be a kid. He needs to race matchbox cars in the basement and ride his bike around the neighborhood. He needs to dig for worms and swing on the swing set. But when?
I’m a huge believer in the importance of good attendance. Being at school every day is important for learning. He can’t afford to miss anything. But he also feels overwhelmed. Should I let him take a vacation day? Play hooky and do something for his soul?
His teachers recently suggested that he attend summer school and I agree – it will be good for him. But doesn’t he also deserve to go to camp and show off the things he is good at? Running? Sports? Swimming? Catching bugs, playing in the mud and eating popsicles?
How to find the balance? How do we, as parents of kids who need lots of extra help, allow them to be kids while still giving them every bit of extra support that will help them? How do we know when it is too much? No. Really, I’m asking. How do you balance it all?