Friday, September 24, 2010

So far, so good.

So it's the end of the fourth week of school and I think I can talk about my impressions of msk's new school without worrying about jumping to conclusions. Last spring I wrote about my terror of being forced into a new school and pleaded for the extension to 6th grade of msk's elementary school. Alas, it was not to be, and I have tried very hard to judge his new school, his middle school, on its own. No baggage or regrets about what was left behind.

Msk usually does better at the very beginning of the school year (assuming he has his supports in place) because everything is new and challenging and it demands his attention. We followed that pattern with a week or so of very positive reports. We also hit a low point where the reality of "this is where you're going to be for the next nine months" sank in. Boredom, anxiety, lack of focus and some attention seeking behaviors poked through. I'm happy to report that the reactions to these behaviors must have been what he needed, because after 3 or 4 days the bad reports started to be more moderate, and now we're back up to mainly OK days.

I was terrified by the thought of homework after six years homework-free. The first two nights were hellish. I really try to stay positive, but msk was just not into me getting him to do school work after he had made it through the day. Happily our incredible behavior-dude or b-d (provided as Intensive Individual Support by the Autism Waiver) started doing homework with msk. At first, just the relief that I didn't have to work on homework was what I focused on. Then, when there was a school night when msk didn't see b-d, I found out that msk really wanted to do his homework. Talk about a shocking turn of events. My neurotypical kids have never been so motivated to independently do homework.

The level of work that msk is doing, also surprises me. I think putting him in a new school let people reassess his academic capabilities and they found he could do a lot more than we knew. Maybe a transition can be a good thing, even if it's incredibly scary.

So, the start of the year is behind us. Coming up next is a team meeting. I'm nervous, but I look forward to hearing everybody else's assessment of how he's doing. Then it'll be IEP adjustment time. Exciting times!

image - msk & a leap of faith

1 comment:

  1. I am so happy to read your post! What a nice surprise. Though I do not know you or your kids, I feel as ifs I do because of your honesty on this blog. As a teacher, I try to take your perspectives to heart and keep them in mind as I work with MSKs at my school.I have been wondering all fall how it was going for you and your kids.

    As for transitions, I got a new principal this year. The one that left was wonderful and so it was a sad change. The new one is probably going to be fine but I was feeling threatened at the process of beginning again. I now realize that my new person is causing me to grow with her new ideas and her dreams. A nice surprise. So, maybe transitions and changes can be good for all of us, even when the status quo was OK.


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