I Don't Want Back-to-School Advice for My Special Needs Child
Is it just me or is there a floodgate of content out there right now about back to school and what to do. I am scrolling past articles such as these:
Five things to do to prepare your special needs child for the school year.
Three things to do when meeting your child’s special education team.
Ten things to do to make the summer to school year transition easier.
Seven things to do in preparation for the IEP meeting
Five things to do on the first day.
Don't get me wrong, these articles are chalk full of great tips and if you have pep in your step after summer break then double win. However, for me, after ten weeks of being ON 24/7, I am in desperate need of a bit of time to NOT DO.
My hair has been in a ponytail since June 7 and that stack of Sunset magazines dating back to 2015 (no joke) mocks me each time I walk by.
In the last 4 weeks, I have exercised no more than 4 times and have laundered pee off of the couch no less than 4 dozen times (including the brand new couch of a friend. Sorry, Ann).
Please, for the love of all things special needs parenting, do not give me a to do list right out of the gates as the school year begins. Unless it involves a nap and/or Bloody Mary at 10:00 a.m., I am not interested.
Just give me a week to recover. I will be all over the to do lists in a few weeks.
I will go through the stack of doctor referrals and schedule with those specialists. I will call the bleepity bleep bleep insurance company to have multiple hour long discussions about why speech therapy is being denied for my nonverbal 13-year-old. I will get on the front side of preparing to be an active participant in the Individualized Transition Plan which goes into her IEP when she turns 14. I will follow up with her private therapy and realign goals. I will connect the 15 + members of her team so we are all supporting each other and sharing our best ideas.
I will do these things.
But for the first week, I truly need to do nothing.
I need rest.
I need a refill.
I need quiet time with my Father.
I need to step into peace and thankfulness. It is in this place where the blessings of summer become clear. I am able to reflect on all of the ways God showed me who He was the last 10 weeks. I am able to be overwhelmed with gratitude for teachers who pour into my children. I am able to gain perspective that what matters most is God's story and not mine.
From the beginning, He set an example of resting, reflecting, and seeing that “it is good”. I want to do that. I want you to do that, too.
May you find rest these next few weeks and marinate in His promises.
May you have the ability to sit still and take a sabbath from the many things clamoring for your attention while exercising faith in God to take care of your family.
Afterward, I wish you a wonderful school year filled with successful advocacy and growth for your child and team. While you are swimming in all there is to do, I pray God shows you more and more of who He is and who you are to Him. I pray it is revealed to you where "it is good".
Now, about that nap...