"Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature." ~St. Augustine

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Including Parker

*This post was started 2 weeks ago, so it is a little out of date. 

Well, I have not been very disciplined about blogging.  I had a feeling that would happen.  I just can't ever seem to find the time.  I don't know how you  busy moms do it!  Kudos to all of you!

Last weekend, my husband and I went to a viewing of "Including Samuel".  I would recommend this highly to anyone who has a child with special needs, to anyone in education, to anyone who has a child in the schools, to anyone, period.  It is a wonderful documentary about inclusiveness in education. 

I had many different emotions as I watched it.  First and foremost, I did what I always do.  I watched closely every detail of Samuel and compared him to Parker.  I always do that when I encounter anyone with cp.  I so badly want to know what Parker will be like as he gets older.  In fact, there was an ADORABLE little boy who also came to watch the movie with his parents.  He was in a wheelchair, but was holding his own water bottle, munching on some snacks and talking.  I couldn't take my eyes off of him!  He seemed so happy!  I so wanted to go ask his parents his age and pray that Parker could be that happy and verbal at his age.  So  there I was watching him out of one corner of my eye and the movie out the other corner.  Luckily he was up front and to my right so I could easily see both!  I wonder if his parents noticed me staring, and if so, I hope they realized that I was staring with admiration.
One emotion that I really felt was embarrassment.  I was embarrassed or rather ashamed that I hadn't thought about this important topic before, and I WORK in a school district.  Inclusiveness was not taught in my Master's for teaching program.  We had never had an in-service training about it at work.  It never crossed my mind...until I had a child with special needs.  Why is that? 

Another emotion that I started to feel was panic. I started to panic because I want to find an amazing school that has this type of inclusive environment for Parker, Brady and Ryder to go to.  Then I start doing the math - they will be in school very soon!  Are there any schools like this in the Portland area?  I don't know, but I am determined to find out.  I hope that I can find some amazing schools in a small community.  That is my dream for the boys.  I want them to grow up with a community of love and support around them.  It is hard to find that feel in bigger city like Portland.  You have to find just the right area that has that "small town feel" and then hope that they have good schools.   And of course the housing market is horrible, so that makes me panic also.  If only I could win the lottery...

The topic of inclusive schools also brings me to the topic of inclusive daycare/preschools - which we are in the hunt for right now.  It is sad to me that it is so difficult to find a preschool that could offer the right environment for all of my sweet boys.  I hate that I may have to separate them!  I hate even worse the fact that I can't seem to find a good place for Parker at all.  I would love to start my own preschool/daycare.  It would be staffed with amazing, loving teachers.  It would have physical, occupation and speech therapists.  There would be animals, and an outdoor play area that Walt Disney would envy.  It would be brightly colored with windows everywhere to let in the light.  We would have typical developing kiddos (if there really is such a thing) and differently-abled kiddos.  There would be music and field trips and guest visitors.  There would be crafts and learning and sharing and most of all, laughter!  Aahhhh...what a perfect world that would be.  All of my kids would be included, even Parker.


  1. Your preschool/daycare sounds wonderful. Let me know when you open it - I will travel all the way from Canada to take my boys there :-) Does Portland have any programs that would provide Parker with an aid? Where we live there is a program that Mason qualifies for - he is getting a developmental specialist assigned to him for two years of preschool and one year of kindergarten. So, I am able to put both my boys in the same preschool and his aid will go with him. Perhaps your city has something like this?

    1. Wow - that program in your city sounds amazing! I wish there was something like that, but there isn't. I would love for him to have an aid to go to preschool with him. We have something called Early Intervention, which to our family has been a joke - not helpful at all.

      I will let you know when I get my dream preschool opened. :) A girl can dream, right???
      Take care!

  2. You should start that preschool! My boys will go there too!

    I don't know what is feasible for you financially, but I spent a lot of time reporting in SW Portland (Hillsdale/Multnomah Village area) and I think they would be wonderfully inclusive there. I also think any Montessori or alternative preschool would be accepting of Parker's difference. I don't know if you remember the slideshow at the beginning of Including Samuel. It was from Disability is Natural. com and in her bio she says that she basically stopped asking permission to include her son. She would just sign him up for things as if he were a regular person and wouldn't you know it, he was treated like a regular person. It's probably not exactly that easy, but I like the idea of just going for it.

    1. Aahhh, I wish. Wouldn't it be great? If I come into a large amount of money, I will let you know. Malachi and Jaden would be first on my enrolled list!

      Someone else had mentioned a place in SW Portland. I will have to look into that area. It must be a spendy area if you mentioned finances. Yes?

      I had forgotten about that part in the bio video. That is a thought. The problem is, yes, I want him treated like everyone else, but he does have special needs that have to be addressed as well - so I don't know if it is that easy...maybe it is in some things and not others.


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