Six is an interesting age. The age of adventure, and understanding, and grasping concepts that maybe they didn’t quite grasp before. Its the age of asking questions – beyond why – and starting to add their input into things. Its past the complicated age of not understanding, and starting to reach the age of knowing, and understanding, of questioning things that answers can be given to – answers that are understood. And not asked a few seconds later.
But six and Josh, is a little more…complex. Complicated. Confusing. And so very frustrating. For both him, and everyone involved. He doesn’t know what to ask, or how to ask it. And if he doesn’t, no one knows how to really respond. Which equals frustration on everyones part. And more attempts to give him what he wants/needs and more frustration because that, apparently, wasn’t it.
He talks, some. Yes. But not all the time, and not constantly. And not nearly enough for people to understand him. He gets his points across, and has done great in school – but his teachers are still worried about him, and still give notes of explanations through out the week. “Josh falls asleep in class” is the reoccurring one that we have been getting.
And no amount of putting him to bed early, will help.
He just doesn’t sleep until he is tired, which isn’t until the middle of the day, in class.
It’s the one thing that you just arent “Suppose to do” and I find myself doing it, repeatedly. Comparing kids. Does this one measure up to that one? Can he do more than him? Is this normal? As if measuring him up to one of his peers is going to magically make things “Normal” again, whatever that is. My friend has a five year old son, who lately, has been making the change. That one I just talked about. The starting to understand things more in-depth, and grasping things. His dad even talks about how he seems to be getting smarter every day. How he adds new words daily, and even has began teaching HIM things.
And all I could and can do is nod in agreement. Because I know NOTHING about that.
Ive never raised a kid “From start to finish.” Josh is as close to that as Ive gotten, and its not working the way it should be. The way they say it will. He hasn’t reached that age where he can start doing things for himself, unassisted. Sure, he can do things, and I know I should focus on those things, because really, they are great accomplishments for him. But I am doing him no justice in that. I am instead, comparing him. Measuring him up to see how he compares, and in turn, realizing that he doesn’t quite “Measure up” and how is that for someones self esteem???
I know hes trying, he tries hard. It shows. And he has accomplished and overcome so MANY things. And he is really, a great kid. And I don’t want him growing up thinking that he never was able to “Measure up” because in his own way, he measures above and beyond.
But no one recognizes his accomplishments. They see them as “Delayed” or “Behind” or things that he already SHOULD have done.
They don’t recognize the struggles and tears, and frustration, that he has poured into trying to do this one simple task, that for most, comes naturally. They don’t see that at the end of his trying, he is so tired, that he cant do anything else. That his mind just shuts down, and he cant do anything else “Normal” that people think he should be able to do, and in all reality, he SHOULD be able to do. But hes held back. Held back by fear, by frustration, by the inability.
And instead of celebrating with him, they wonder why he cant. And instead of encouraging him, I wonder the same thing.
When someone asks why he takes so long to eat, or why he sometimes has an accident. When they question his silence, and wonder if hes rude. When they stare at him, shake their heads, and turn away…
I cant help but wonder.
He is a person too, just because he doesn’t express himself the way they do, doesn’t mean he doesn’t know. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t understand. I don’t give him enough credit. I tend to follow down the road of the others. “If he doesn’t appear to understand, then he doesn’t, which gives us free reign to talk about him as if he weren’t here”
And I know. Hes only 6. He only has the capabilities of understanding so much.
But he does understand.
Even if it is only…so much.