On Being More Different

Tonight, Coby stood in front of me, and said quietly “Why am I more different than everyone else?”

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This comes on the back of a heated moment within the last week, when he has looked at me, eyes full of angry tears, as he yelled “I’m too stupid”.

It seems that there has been a shift.

It’s been a full 2 years since I first shared on this page the big news about our number 3 boy.  That he had been diagnosed with a Speech Language Impairment.  Changing everything in our world, and yet nothing was at all different.

Since then, the gap between his skills and other children his age has both widened and narrowed.  It is as if with the passing years I see the differences so much more clearly, and yet he is learning so very much.

His speech has improved and his understanding of the world around him has grown beyond measure.  And yet, he is still working at a different pace than his school mates.

This year he has been wonderfully supported by a great teacher who truly sees when he has tried hard.  His teacher has sent me text messages when Coby has done particularly well on a task, focusing on when Coby feels proud of his work as well.  I believe that her understanding of him, when complemented by the SEU support, has made the world of difference for Coby.

Although on a modified curriculum, Coby has begun reading and writing.  He understands the words of the world around him so much better than before, helping him to better process the life he has.

Which is amazing!  He can follow basic plot lines in movies, he can tell a story, and finds it easier to hear and process instructions given to him.

It also means that he is beginning to not only sense his differences, but is beginning to put words to it.

Ones that break my heart.

I remember back at the very first meeting I had with the school based psychologist who had performed the first round of testing with Coby.  He had said to me “Does Coby ask you if he is stupid?” and I remember saying “No.  No of course not”.

It has taken him 2 years from the time of that meeting. We have done our best to talk about different, about how we each have our own ways to learn, and he has just needed a bit more help than some of the other kids.

We are clearly in a new phase.  Not only is Coby feeling the difference within himself, but he is beginning to want to understand why and what it means.

For tonight, all I could do was hug him, and tell him that we’re all different.

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And then ask him to choose his favourite funny face for a photo with me.

I hope he keeps that twinkle in his eye.  For the longest time to come.

K xxx

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About Kathryn Hodges

Hi! I'm Kathryn. I have many hats in this life. I am a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother (of 4!), a friend, a keen try-er of yoga, a lawyer, a business owner, an avid reader and a lover of this electronic world and it's connections. As the Principal of a wonderful law firm on the Sunshine Coast, Qld, Australia, I focus on seeing my clients as people going through change and I am committed to practising mindfully that I am dealing with people and their families. Precious stuff, hey! I hope you enjoy learning more about the things that impact on me, my life and my practice. Please leave me a comment, as I'm sure you have something you can show or teach me. We're all in this learning thing, called life, together xx Oh, and my professional obligations mean I have to remind you that my opinions are my own.
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4 Responses to On Being More Different

  1. Di says:

    Beautifully written Kathryn and what wonderful support for your son. Indeed we are all different in some manner… great sharing cheers Di

    • Kathryn Hodges says:

      Thanks Di,

      So very true!

      It’s just unfortunate that his differences are those very often measured. Lucky for me physical agility isn’t a key measure of anything 🙂
      K x

  2. Oh Kathryn how heartbreaking for you to see his pain. He is blessed though that he is part of such a loving and understanding family. With your support and encouragement I’m sure he’ll find his place in the world and be able to recognise that his strengths and weaknesses may be slightly different to others around him but are just as significant. xx Kathie

    • Kathryn Hodges says:

      Thanks Kathie,
      And yes, this is a heartbreaking stage for us.

      Just got to hold him tight, point out his strengths and love like mad.
      K x

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