Marching to the beat of his own drum.
I knew. I knew from early on that my son marched to the beat of his own drum. I tried to to make him march with the other kids. I didn’t want him to think something was wrong with him. I tried all the parenting advice and discipline techniques. Nothing seemed to matter. I was trying to force a square peg into a round hole.
The school nightmare
School was a nightmare. He’d burn up all his energy on trying to “be good” only to fail and fall short of the teacher’s expectations. He never brought home that coveted green smiley on his behavioral chart that said it was a good day. I could see it in his eyes, he felt less than. Less than the other kids his age, less than good, less than what people want. It broke my heart. I hated that stinking behavioral chart. I hated that people refused to try and understand my sweet boy.
Soon we realized that traditional public school made things worse. When he was in third grade, my husband and I made the choice to homeschool all our children. I will never forget the day early in our journey that he leaned against my shoulder and said “Thank you for homeschooling me, Mommy. I felt so stupid in school” I cried that day and still remember it so vividly. I replay that memory when we’re having a rough day.
Being your Child’s Advocate
I knew that I was going to have to be my son’s biggest advocate. From the time we got his SPD diagnosis in first grade until just recently, I’ve had to explain everything it means and what it doesn’t. I’ve had to undo society’s idea of what perfect children should look like. My son was perfect. Exactly the way God made him. Just because he doesn’t do everything like the masses doesn’t make him somehow less than. I am actually proud that he doesn’t. And now, even at 14 years old, I will still fight anyone that tries to force that square peg into that round hole….or lovingly point out how mistaken they are. It’s a toss-up, really. 😉
Want to hear more of what Lori has to say on the subject? Listen to this week’s podcast episode:
Special Needs (Capital Letter Syndromes) and Homeschooling Director
Lori Shaffer is married to her childhood best friend, Jacob. She is a stay at home missionary and homeschool mom to their three children. She is passionate about advocating for teen moms and women and children that have been abused and giving them hope and encouragement. Most days she can be found drinking coffee, working out with Kathleen, or hanging out with her family.
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