Accessorizing for the new school year-

I recently finished back-to-school shopping in preparation for T. starting first grade tomorrow.

As, I held it up his new backpack to my husband I pointed out the “exciting” detailing. I explained the retro motorcycle graphic messenged a Steve-McQueen-Great-Escape-movie-vibe. And, bonus! 1970’s colors – brown, orange and aqua together!

My husband sighed and rubbed his hands down his face.

“Two things”, he said, “One, have you ever thought of writing Chick Lit? Two, put a quarter in the I-Talk-Too-Much-About-Steve-McQueen jar.”

My husband was however impressed by the Star Wars pencil box, the football erasers and the (on-sale) Shaun White shorts. (I should write Chick Lit.)

We have decided on one other accessory for this upcoming year. We hired an advocate. We have gone it alone for years trying to be that family who wants to figure it out with school personnel. After the debacle that was summer school  we have decided what this family needs is a professional.

We can no longer do this alone.

I told our son the day we left his first summer school placement: “I knew this place was wrong. I should have done something the first day. I’m so sorry.”

“It’s OK, Mommy.”

You know what? It’s not Okay. Not by a long shot.

It is 2013 – and, we are still fighting for inclusion for our kids.

This entry was posted in Adopting, Advocacy, By Notatypicalmom, Down syndrome, education, Inclusion, Parenting, Rants, Special Needs and tagged , , , by Kari Wagner-Peck. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kari Wagner-Peck

Kari Wagner-Peck lives with her husband and son in Maine. She is a writer & storyteller who home schools with her son. She has a M.S.W. and has been at various times a practicing social worker, documentary videographer, film festival director and retail clerk. She is the author of Not Always Happy: An Unusual Parenting Journey, May, 2017, Central Recovery Press. She has been published at The New York Times Well Family blog, The Huffington Post, The The Good Men Project, The Sydney Morning Herald Daily Life blog, BLOOM and Love That Max among others. Author page: Twitter @KariWagnerPeck and Facebook: Email:

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