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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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The Classroom At The End Of The Hall.: Special Needs Parenting 101.
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Monday, August 22, 2011

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A mother is nervous for her son, who will be in special classes because he has an autism spectrum disorder.

I am so nervous for Blaze it isn't funny!

My son, who is almost five years old, will be starting kindergarten this year; however, he won't be starting with the "normal" kids.  He has an autism spectrum disorder (diagnosed when he was two and a half), which makes it hard for him to make new friends or to relate to people he doesn't know.  He is very withdrawn and shy and it breaks my heart to see Blaze struggling so much!

Blaze will be in the Special Needs class.  As Mrs. Northrum, his teacher, explained it at "get-to-know-the-teacher" night last month, the room is very easy to find:  "It is the classroom at the very end of the hall; you can't miss it", which is what she told me. 

I feel so bad for him.  It is bad enough he has a disability that few people understand: they think that he misbehaves just to get attention or that he just doesn't like other people.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The fact of the matter is this: Blaze tries so hard to make friends, but he gets scared; he is afraid people will laugh at him because he is behind developmentally and socially.  He is scared that he will be teased and/or ostracized by the other children.  He doesn't react to new situations very well; he never has.

Blaze has some quirks that make him stand out from the crowd: he "stims" a lot if stressed or frightened and he purposely averts his eyes so he doesn't look at the person in front of him.  He's also small for his age and just completed potty-training: he just got out of diapers only two months ago.  He will probably wear pull-ups, so he doesn't have an unforseeable accident while at school.

Blaze can write somewhat, but his reading skills are poor.  I have been working with him on this, but it really hasn't helped.  I hope Mrs. Northrum will be able to help him and/or bring him out of his shell.  He is such a bright little boy; it's just that his developmental delays/autism spectrum disorder hides his true capabilities.  I also hope that he will be able to make new friends around his age; he really hasn't been around many kids (unless at the playgroup dates twice a week); any other time he is mainly with adults (me, my mother, his grandpa, and various aunts and uncles; he's an only child).

If Mrs. Northrum can help my son, I am sure it would make a world of difference, but right now, I am not ready to let him go just yet.  I want to keep him home forever and ever!  My baby boy is growing up!  I just hope that he can get the help he so desperately needs; all I want is for Blaze to have a chance to catch up to his peers and have a chance to overcome his handicaps!  He deserves a chance to succeed in life! 

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Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen 8/24/2011
Melody's oldest Caden, (Elijah's big brother) has Autism!!! He loves Kindergartner really well, and hes such a loveable little man such a great kid!!!
In Christs Love
Reviewed by Paul Berube 8/22/2011
Great write, Karen. Well done for certain. God bless.
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 8/22/2011
I hope Blaze will do very well at school. :) Precious story of a mother's love and concern -- excellent, Karen.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.

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