Oh man was today rough. I've been working a lot while we've been waiting for our background checks to come back and I've been working in an inclusive prek all this week and next week. Most of you probably know what inclusion means but in case you don't it's a classroom designed to include special ed students with regular ed. That way instead of having the special ed kids separated they get to learn in the same environment as all of the other kids and often seem to make more learning gains that way. Well, anyway, working in the inclusive prek at this school is always an experience to say the least. I really enjoy it and the teachers are wonderful but so many of these kids come from such awful backgrounds it's pretty upsetting. One child, they think just had ADHD but he refuses to speak half of the time and he looks like a malnourished child from a third world country poor thing. He's also recently been exposed to crack and meth...still in the home with his parents...
Another child is currently being adopted by his foster mom. He is a cutie pie and sweet as he can be but poor thing is pretty far behind. She got him when he was 2 1/2 and he had been so severely neglected that he couldn't even chew and the muscles in his mouth were too weak. So he had to learn how to eat and to talk and everything much later. Overall I think he's doing pretty good considering all he's been through and he seems to be pretty well adjusted but his background is so sad.
There's another in there who was adopted by her foster parents along with her brother. Her brother is Autistic and was in this class last year. The little girl is a perfectly normal happy healthy little girl and her brother really is a sweetie but apparently the foster parents didn't want him but just took him because they wanted the little girl.
Dealing with all of these stories and all of these children was encouraging at first, but after a whole week in there, I kind of felt freaked out this afternoon. So many of them are so far behind and have a lot of problems that most children, given the proper care, would never deal with. It just makes me so sad and I got really overwhelmed with it all today. The one who has been exposed to crack and meth has been refusing to talk to me at all and it's been so hard to communicate with him. He won't let me touch him either. I was so exhausted at the end of the day today I just wanted to cry. I think a lot of it was emotional exhaustion.
It just got me thinking about what could happen and I can't help but wonder if I'll even be able to make a difference when we get a child. I also wonder if anything they've been through can be fixed or if they'll just be hurt forever. I look at all of these wonderful, sweet children who didn't deserve any of this to happen to them and just can't stand the thought that they could have to suffer forever whether they remember it or not. If we get a child 12 months and under, is it likely with the proper care that they'll be able to overcome a lot of what they've been through? I guess I'm just looking for some reassurance. DH says I've just been too overwhelmed by the 42 children and their sad stories but to remember that it doesn't mean every situation is that way. I probably just need a good night of sleep. We're taking the kids to the pumpkin patch tomorrow so hopefully that'll be a great day for them.