It is enormously expensive to develop a new drug. So much so that a pharmaceutical company won’t even try to develop one unless it has the potential of treating a medical problem that inflicts a huge number of people. So if your child is diagnosed with some rare condition that only one in a million people ever get you’re shit out of luck. No one’s ever going to develop a drug to help him.
It’s a bleak picture but it’s one that makes sense. Lately I’ve been feeling like I have that one-in-a-million kid. It’s not that I think my son’s problems are the equivalent of having a terminal illness; in fact I firmly believe that he’ll be just fine in the long run. It’s the now that’s giving me a headache. I was hoping that by getting my son assessed by a woman who specialized in “twice exceptional children” (a very PC term that refers to kids who are gifted with learning disabilities) I would finally hear the words, “yes, I see children like your son all the time. This is what you need to do.” Instead I’m hearing, “Wow, your son’s unique! Getting him in the right school setting is going to be a real challenge!” It’s kind of like traveling to Beverly Hills to get your hair done at Vidal Sassoon only to find out that the hairstylist there is no more or less talented than the barber who works across the street. Of course if you didn’t get your hair done at Vidal at least once you’d spend your entire life thinking that your barber was giving you a second rate haircut, so there’s that.
I should be used to this by now. Ever since my son was born all the experts have been telling me how unique he is. Pediatric nurses, teachers, psychologists, they have all been fascinated by my son’s uniqueness. His recent test scores just back that up. When I enter “gifted children dysgraphia” into my search engine you know what came up? Homeschooling sites all featuring parents’ accounts of how the school system didn’t accommodate their children’s unique (there’s that word again) learning needs and that’s why they decided to educate them at home. And when it comes to my son, giftedness and dysgraphia are just the tip of the iceberg. There do seem to be some school programs made for kids like mine but none of them start before 4th grade. He’s in 1st right now.
So I may have to continue to homeschooling for a while although it is NOT what I want to do. My late father-in-law had asked me how I felt about homeschooling when my child was a baby and I had smiled and said sweetly, “I’d rather walk through the fires of hell.” Guess the jokes on me. I have decided to look into hiring some tutors and getting more childcare. There are some programs that I’d like to enroll my son in and if blog reader Amra Pajlic is right about my readership continuing to grow I might even be able to afford them.
There’s no question about it, this has been a trying week but you know what happened last time life threw me a curve ball? I became a writer. Perhaps this unexpected twist will also lead to great things. I’m actually pretty good at turning difficult situations into opportunities so I don’t see why I shouldn’t be able to do that with this. In other words: stay tuned, there may be some cool surprises ahead.
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