What’s it like when a mazel tov is accompanied by a question mark?
My name is Sara. I have four enchanting, brilliant, beautiful sons, bursting with energy. I had thought that the first three were challenging enough, keeping me on my toes 24/7. Little B.’s’s challenges were different. I’d like to share my journey with all of you at Ezer Mizion, you who are so much a part of that journey.
When we brought him home, we had to regroup and decide how we would approach our presentation of their new brother to his older siblings. It took a lot of thought until we were finally satisfied with a plan of action. We taught his brothers to be happy and see his successes even though his failures were so glaring when compared to other babies in the neighborhood. . We told them that they’re allowed to ask and allowed to ache, and that there is much to be thankful for. The truth, brought down to their age level, was put on the table: No! We don’t know why. Yes, in the end, he will be able to walk. Yes, sometime or other he will talk. Yes, it hurts me, too.
We have learned to enjoy a different graph, a developmental graph that does not even attempt to catch up with the norms. Our own graph. And on our graph, there is a steady rise in all areas of development.
But which school would be the right fit for him? Maybe he would manage in a group younger than he? The starting point would look similar, but how long would it take until they would pass him, leaving him lagging behind, physically large, saturated with failures, labeled, with caregivers who don’t know how to help him and are frustrated by “this child who doesn’t belong here.” How long would it take him to stop trying? How long would it take until he’d lose that part of his personality that promises us and him that “the sky’s the limit”?
Documents and runarounds and tests and evaluations and another committee meeting. But wait!! Stop!! Ezer Mizion? They provide so many services. Do they also have a preschool for the developmentally delayed?
Now, six months later, here we are… Our Baby comes to Gan every morning very happily. He loves the driver who takes him there, is received with open, loving arms into the embrace of the marvelous staff who wait for him there in Ezer Mizion’s pre-school gan. He has an orderly daily schedule, with working groups and get-togethers and meals where he learns to use eating utensils by himself. He has teachers and caregivers who set goals and advance him through physiotherapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy. They asked us many questions, observed him, and worked with him hands-on, so as to build him the most suitable tailored program.
The overall feeling is that everyone cares about him a lot. He is important, and they are happy with him and excited by him. They see his successes, that he has a place and a time and a right to explore and discover the world like everyone else.
We have a child with a multidisciplinary developmental delay. He is smiley, curious, and mischievous. He makes unabated progress in his own personal graph. He loves and is loved. Our little boy dashes about creating mischief wherever he goes!!! And we are deeply grateful.