Last year when life began unraveling around the then 3 year old CJ- his behavior played hopscotch from baffling to infuriating and then heartbreaking and back again. It became apparent at that point even though he would be chronologically ready for kindergarten this year, that emotionally, socially and behaviorally he wouldn’t be able to. At that point, his developmental delay in grasp and visual motor were not yet known and threw another wrench into the mix last August.
At that point, I’d made up my mind that we were just holding him out a year. This is where he is at. I will hold him out and make sure he gets what he needs to be successful when he does start school.
I made my peace with it, in theory, very quickly. The day-to-day reality can prove challenging. Especially during the “rough times.” During the good times, I can pat myself on the back at the great job I’m doing. Then he melts down at the daycare and I almost feel like we’re back at step one. Almost. If I let myself get carried away in my own little pity party, it can last a day or two. Then I remember one very important thing. I’ve done this before- he’s done this before. He will pull through it and calm down. It may take a few days- usually does. Then we’re back to good-times again.
We are never back at step one. Even if it feels like it is, for a minute. Step one was darker and scary. There is a light- it is education, compassion, love and empathy.
I can’t say understanding. Because I don’t completely understand what the world is like for him. I’ve never lived in his shoes. I don’t get why he acts the way he does sometimes. Life would be so much easier if he just fell in line. He’s not going to do that. No point in harping on it.
The other day I was discussing CJ with his daycare teacher. I’ve had an open dialogue with her from the get-go about CJ’s challenges. We were talking about his age and chronologically being old enough for kindergarten in the fall. I was saying that with his lack of writing ability and social/emotional skills I didn’t think he was ready for kindergarten and it wouldn’t be fair to him to him to enroll him. She told me to check out a program called Kindergarten Readiness. A program for young 5 year olds; it focuses on social skills and fine motor.
While this may/ may not be right for him. There is still possibility of school in CJ’s future sooner than I ever anticipated…