My daughter, as I’ve mentioned, has been in speech therapy off and on since the age of 3. She is not in speech therapy now because her school insists homeschoolers attend in person. In a group. If I’m not sending her to in-person class, why in the world would I send her to in-person group speech therapy? And because her dyslexia diagnosis came in too late to be included in her IEP, no services for that this year. Sorry.
I’m not mad about the dyslexia services. She has a wonderful language therapist, and as a homeschool teacher, I can modify exercises as needed around her challenge areas. Her language therapist suggested that I press the school for speech therapy, though. So did her doctor.
Google gave me page upon page of links to even longer documents telling me how to advocate for myself, for my child. Documents I don’t have time to read, detailing steps I don’t have time to take. One of the links I found is to an organization that safeguards the rights of people like my daughter. I messaged back and forth with them for a few days. They told me they don’t have the resources to help me. Instead, they sent me those same PDF documents I found on Google.
Any other year, I would double down and learn the ins and outs of disability law and pester the heck out of anyone and everyone until my daughter got what she needs. But this…this is not that year.
From another angle, it looks like this: My child is handling her education almost entirely on her own. Yes, I am here to answer questions. Her father helps her on his days off. I scour the internet for books and videos and printables to supplement her online curriculum when she needs a little extra help. I modify the exercises and limit her workload, but she is still essentially attending a full school day every day. Plus two 45-minute language therapy sessions a week. Two hour-long social Zooms each week. Also, while I haven’t settled on a source yet, she desperately needs math tutoring. Speech therapy would add at least another hour to her week, if not two or three. She’s 9. Her calendar should not look like mine.
So I asked her what she thought we should do. She said she didn’t feel that she needs speech therapy right now. She’s tired. Burning out. So I’m letting it go at that. Personally, I think her time would be better spent meditating, or drawing, or playing. Something that refills her soul.
I’m flowing back to a state of calm since the beginning of last month. Paring down what I can pare down. Setting my sights on things that will recharge my batteries instead of things that will check off my to-do list. I’m drying my hair instead of wearing it curly so I don’t have to wash and style it every day. I bought 5 of my new favorite hoodie to make deciding what to wear easier. I’m meal prepping and going to bed earlier and reducing the amount of time I spend on social media. We’re eating meals together at the table — no electronics allowed. I have scheduled, and am honoring, a monthly at-home spa day with the kids; next I’m going to work on scheduling and enforcing a family game night and family movie night. On weekends, I’m focusing on the things that actually will make my weeks easier, rather than the things I feel I need to do. Yes, this means that my floors are gross and my office is covered in dusty piles of paper. But after the loads we carry all week, I feel like the kids and I need a little time to just…be.
We have finite resources, too.