Kindergarten Changes Everything

My son is in his final week of kindergarten. So many emotions flooded me this morning as I watched him walk into school and reflected back on this past year. Watching him learn and change and grow in so many ways over the past 10 months.
And as I thought back on this amazing and transitional year for him, I remembered when my daughter with special needs started kindergarten. It was not the same experience.

For parents of children with special needs, kindergarten is different. For us, it is likely the first time someone looks you in the face and tells you that your child is different.

Not the same.

Not keeping up with peers.

Significantly below grade level.

Yes, we probably knew before kindergarten that our child had different needs. Challenges. We could always see the areas where they struggled, and maybe we noticed it more at daycare or on the neighborhood playground when other friends were around. But kindergarten is the first time many of us had to face the reality that this world is not made for kids like ours and they will often be viewed as the outliers.

It is the year that it hits us that we will need to fight for our children every day from now on.

Fight for them to have access, equity, and acceptance.

Fight for them to be seen and heard and understood.

Fight for people to see potential over perceived limitations.

Sending love to the parents who are there now. You are not alone. And no, your child is not the same. Neither is mine.

They are exceptional.

And this world that is not made for them? It’s a better place because they are in it.

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