The kids just before Ethan's graduation....some day they will all smile nice at the camera.
Ethan, this amazing young deaf boy has just graduated from Kindergarten. He has learned right along side his class of hearing kids. He has not had to be in special ed, or had to be pulled aside for special classes. This amazing blue eyed boy has taken his handicap and risen above those expectations put on deaf kids. In my opinion, not enough is put on them by the specialists. I did not give ear to his limitations. I did not put him in public school where he would have been placed in special ed. I put him in one of the best private Christian schools I know of. How do I know because I have already had two other kids go through this school. When Elliot was six years old he was diagnosed with ADHD. I get it's a real thing, but I did not believe this should in anyway limit Elliot. Within two months of being in this private school there was no indication of ADHD. I never had to medicate Elliot, and tossed his prescription.
They are not a special needs school. They are a solid Biblical based Christian school. A school that 13 years later since we first started still has many of the same teachers. They have taken my deaf child, who came to them with delays in speech. He came to them with some confusion on words, context, and they were completely open to working Ethan into their classroom structure. They did not alter their curriculum to fit Ethan, they expected Ethan to fit into the structure. They expected nothing less. And my bright eyed, challenging young boy will start first grade this fall. He will have the same teacher for first grade that Emily had over 12 years ago.
I am so blessed that God has taken this year and taught me so much about mothering a child with a handicap. Knowing to follow my instincts and most important to believe in your child. To let them see you believing that they can do it, even when they struggle and want to give up. When you have a strong willed child you must never allow them to give up because when they are faced with a challenge the strength and confidence is built on their success. Ethan has had a school year full of many challenges and even more success. Graduation night was a year of lots of hard worked wrapped up in an amazing program with even more amazing teachers.
Hats off precious little boy. God is so proud of you this year and so is your family.
About two months ago I went into the principles office and just cried. I tried to explain through all my tears that these were happy tears. I told him how much I appreciated that they would allow Ethan to come to this school. That the teachers and staff love him, and how I watch as the older class's high five he calls them out by name. How Ethan is challenged and learning and growing and in an environment that loves him. I just wanted to let the principle know the value they had to our family.
Last night Ethan graduated with his class. He was part of the school program and performed right along side his class. Before we left for the evening, he was rehearsing his speaking parts and singing some of his songs. He is an extraordinary little boy who has not allowed his handicap to keep him from being a part of every day life. I was so blessed by this evening.