Layla’s community pediatrician

Pricks of guilt, confusion, and overwhelmingness, and failing as a parent.

This is what most parents feel when they have a child who is disabled. I had a harsh reality check by Layla’s community pediatrician today.

While she could see Layla had made progress in the ‘curriculum’, she felt that if Layla was to go back to school, all the difficulties will still be there and more transparent so had she really made progress? This made my heart sink as while it was the truth; it also made me think am I doing right by Layla, by home-educating her? What is the right thing for Layla?

The consultant said that as she is in a bubble; it’s manageable as the routine and structure are around her and we as adults are flexible. Yet children are not in schools and if she doesn’t learn the ‘rules’ of social interaction and what it entails, how will she ever learn, learn about the real world. I know that Layla wouldn’t have learned to read, write, be toilet trained, eat dinner, had she not been home-educated.

The Cystic Fibrosis Psychologist feels Layla shouldn’t be in school as she has progressed so much and that all the work on her anxiety and self-esteem will go in a second if she were to go back. So why would I put her back in an environment where it affected her mental health?

We, as parents, whose children have Special Educational Needs are given different advice by so many different professionals our children are under. Who is correct and who isn’t? And whatever decision I make, affects Layla’s life, affects her childhood, and in effect affects her adulthood as it’s the foundation of her childhood that will help her try and be as independent as possible and able to function when she becomes an adult.

So today my mind is boggled! It is overthinking, it feels guilty, confused but more than anything emotional.

Tracy's response... "I feel your pain, and do you know I’ve been there in a similar way, looking back, you know what’s right for your child at the right time to, don’t ever doubt that. You are so selfless that whatever you do is best for your Layla and at that moment and what is in place is the best for her. I do agree that life can’t be cushioned and we all can’t be living in a bubble forever, but for anyone to progress they need foundations, trust, and stability which you are teaching Layla. With your love and direction, she will grow, maybe not like everyone else but at a perfect pace for Layla. You will help her and teach her to be confident and live in the real world more and more. The confusion and overwhelmingness aren’t your own, let it go and be positive as you have Layla’s hand and heart to hold, the journey will be tough at times but you will both lead each other in directions that will make you both stronger. You are the specialist that has Layla’s best interests at heart, so be confident that you are the mum that knows her the best."
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