Saturday, October 20, 2012

Remembering How Hard It Can Be

There is a post today on SPD Blogger Network written by a South African Mom talking about her concerns about needing to raise her twin boys differently because of the issues that they face (one has SPD [and a few other issues] where the other does not).

As I read this post, I was transported in time.  I was remembering visiting preschool programs for Ballerina and Music Man.  I was remembering driving around in the car because as I visited these programs, I knew they would be placed in different places because I knew that no one school would best suit their individual needs.  But, in my heart, that wasn't what I wanted for them.  I wanted them to be together.  In my heart, I knew that they needed to be together even though my brain was telling me that I needed to consider their individual needs first.  I remember crying every time I thought if it, how I was going to have to face the fact that one would be going to Program A and the other to Program B.

And I remember those meetings.  I remember at the end of Ballerina's meeting making the decision to send her to the program called CAPP, which was definitely the best placement for her.  But instead of thinking that, it was that final nail in the coffin -- they weren't going to be together because CAPP was a BAD choice for Music Man.  I remember taking a 10-15 break between the two meetings and going over to an observation area and watching them both in their classroom, trying to pull it all together.  And I remember starting Music Man's meeting when they were enumerating all of the reasons why we needed an IEP (I realize this is a part of the process, especially in an initial IEP meeting, and they weren't pulling out things that we didn't already know), and I remember them asking me at the end of this if I needed a moment.  They thought I was upset about all the reasons for Music Man's IEP.  But that wasn't the case.  It was the reality of Ballerina's placement and the consequence of separating these two that was making me struggle to hold it together.  And I remember not being able to fully pay attention throughout his meeting because I just couldn't deal with it.

I cried about it that day and night.  By the morning I thought I was all right.  We had made the best decision for each of them.  They were going into programs that would address their weaknesses in ways that played to their strengths.  And for Ballerina and Music Man, they were different areas and different strategies.  And I remember talking to the other parents about the whole IEP experience (since their initial meetings were upcoming).  And I was doing a good job holding it together.  It wasn't much of a struggle.  And I'm giving myself a mental pat on the back......I'm getting over my emotional hang-up and am ready to do what I know is the right thing.  But then, when I put Ballerina and Music Man into the car, it all came flooding out.  It was like I was back at the beginning.  Separating them was WRONG!

I also remember calling our case worker that afternoon while the twins were napping and Big Brother was having his "Quiet Time" (for he no longer napped).  I remember asking her when (and if) this would ever get easier.  And she pointed out to me that I knew what the right answer was, I just wasn't ready for it.  Eventually, the two would come together.  She couldn't tell me when, but I knew she was right.  And, I also knew that if things weren't working out, we could look into making a change.

I'm not sure when it happened.....when it became all right that they were in different schools and different programs.  But eventually, it was all right.  That didn't change the fact that I was grateful that they are now in the same school, and I'm sure that the togetherness is part of what I was trying to achieve.  But I stopped looking at them as a unit together when it came to their IEPs and allowed myself to separate them into the two unique individuals that they are.

Don't get me wrong.....losing that dream of them being together for so long hurt, and it still does from time to time.  But I see their individual growth, and I know that this was one of the times where my heart was wrong and my head was right.  My dreams for them are my own.  I need to give them a chance to realize their own dreams and those may be with our without the other.

My babies aren't babies anymore.  They are growing up.  And they are becoming amazing people.


  1. So great to " meet" you in the blogworld and thanks for this post, and your comment at SPD too. It's just great not feeling all alone in this. Sadly in South Arica our options are more limited and acceleration is not really an option.

    1. Cat, even if they don't end up in the same grade, they can still help each other out. And it's more important that one isn't pushed harder than he can handle right now. Trust me, I know how hard that it to's taken me a LONG time to get here, and I still do wonder what we missed by them being in different preschools, but I know that the benefits have outweighed the negatives. I hope it all works out for your boys!

  2. I too have twins where one has PDD-NOS and the other doesn't. Although, they both have an IEP. I was able to find a program for both of them in the same school after months of searching. It is an hour away by bus. So, my three year old boys have an hour commute to school. It is an extremely long hard day for both of them, but they are doing well. They dealt with the separation better than I did.
    I hope it will get easier eventually.

    1. It does eventually get easier......the separation I mean. And from what you said, they are doing well! I really don't regret (now) the decision to separate them for preschool.......Ballerina needed the ABA program and Music Man wouldn't have gotten much out of his preschool experience (trust me, there was a lot of weighing the possibility of changing his program to hers at various points). Now they're in the same school, and (coincidentally) in adjoining classes. They're not in the same program but they're both in academic programs which will allow them to earn their high school diploma and potentially be college bound. And they are both showing signs of success. We really have been a success story thus far. But losing the dream of keeping them together for longer was hard to let go of. At least it was for me.