Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Not ready for this

Ralph sees the cardiologist later this week. I usually look forward to these visits, but not after last time. He has been on a liter or more of oxygen since last month, although he rips it off probably 200 times every day. Also, when he rolls over in bed at night the prongs come out. This happens about 25-30 times every night. Can you say sleep deprivation?

On another note, Ralph will be moving up to the Beginner's Sunday school class around Christmas time. Which is funny because he has only been in the nursery a few times due to my germ-o-phobia. Will I have the guts to send him to Sunday school during cold and flu season?

Our church has a new way of accommodating children with special needs. They set each child up with a buddy, which is a grown up who guides them through the activities of the Sunday school class each week. Well...Ralph's new teacher would like him to have a buddy when he moves up. I'm not quite sure how I feel about this and I know I'm not ready to deal with this yet.

On one hand, I am supportive of this system in general. Children who might not normally attend Sunday school due to behavior issues have a regular buddy they can count on to help them out. The teachers are happy because they have support. The parents are happy that their children are able to participate.

On the other hand, Isn't 18 months of age a little young to expect a whole lot as far as attention and class participation? I have a hard time seeing how Ralph would act much different from any other 18 month old child. In fact, he may be better prepared. I actually spend time reading to him and singing songs with him and teaching him how to play with toys, things that I never did with my other babies when they were babies.

Maybe my real problem is that I am not ready for Ralph to be singled out as special. You know? Somehow I thought I had a few more years before I needed to worry about this. And I figured it would be the school setting not the Church where I would find him singled out.


Jenny said...

Let me tell you how much I relate to this post. When we first began to understand all of Jackson's issues, I didn't want to tell people at church. I wasn't ready to admit that he was "different". Over time, I became more accepting of his issues and began to feel okay with others knowing.

Our church had a similar program for kids with special needs, but it was really geared toward kids who were older. I agree with you that 18 months is a bit young to start that. At our church they had the rooms divided more by infants/crawlers/walkers, so Jackson just spent extra time in the first 2 rooms. We would call him the "King of the Crawlers" b/c he was so much bigger and older than some of the other children (he didn't walk until he was 2). That's what worked for us and that's what we still do - we keep him in a regular Sunday School class, just with children a little younger than him.

Hope it all works out in a way that you're happy with!

June Berger said...

Maybe Ralph can split his time between the class and the nursery? That's what I'll be doing with Jonathan at the co-op and at our church when I decide I want to start him in the program. I guess I'm fortunate that I have that option to send him or not. If you're uncomfortable with it, speak with "the powers that be" and let them know that, I would. You will be advocating the rest of Ralph's life for him, so you might as well start now ;o) (I'm sure you have already, I'm just teasing a bit). I guess I don't have an issue with Jonathan being special, he is so very special to us! I am blessed beyond words that God chose him to be our son! All of my children have different abilities, so I just focus on what is best for them. I have found that Jonathan has taught many people in our family and church about how special children with DS are! All have been blessed (at least as far as I know, lol). Maybe this is how God plans on using Ralph, at least at this time in his life. Just some thoughts. Praying for you all.