Saturday, August 30, 2008

School Starting!...yippee..........

School starts Wednesday, and every night at some point, I lay and do my yearly worry session until it starts. I wonder if we've chosen the right situation for him (probably not this year), will he be safe, will he behave, will he decide to leave school and walk home and no one will know..... The list goes on and on.

Early last week we went to 5th grade orientation. He was excited to go in. It was for the whole school and when we got there a presentation was already in progress about the school rules, pick-up, etc.. Figuring he wouldn't sit for 2 minutes and listen, I decided to take him over by where I knew his classroom would be. Right away he spotted his new teachers sign and ran over. Luckily, his teacher Mrs. Murray was there that night, even though teachers were not required to be there. She greeted Casey warmly and allowed us to come in her room and have a look around. She was still in the process of getting things ready. He was so excited about being in there and did several "commercials" about his school year starting.

I asked her how many students she would have this year and she said just 4! I inquired as to who they were and when she told me, my heart sank a bit. They were kiddos I knew from Casey's other school, and without trying to sound snobby or too proud, all lower functioning and way less verbal than he. I suddenly recalled something my friend had told me Dr. Rick Solomon had said to her when she asked about her son's program and if it was good. He said as long as your happy with what your child is getting out of it and your child is not the highest functioning child, your doing well. Casey will be the highest functioning child in this room.

We have his IEP set up so that he gets time with regular ed too. But I still can't help but think this whole small class will not be beneficial for him. I guess it remains to be seen. We chose for him to be in the AI (Autistically Impaired) program, and what students are in it, are who are in it, no getting around that. I am just regretting now not taking that point into consideration while doing the IEP and rethinking things.

I guess at this point I just have to have a "glass half full" attitude and be glad that there are only 4, which may lend to more one on one attention. Also, maybe Case will enjoy being the big man on campus for a change. He is starting at a whole new school, so maybe this smaller class will lend to a little bit more "calmness" for the transition. Plus his new teacher is also a speech therapist and the same lady who defended us against his general ed. teacher at the time of our IEP and she didn't even know she was our teacher yet! So, it may turn out ok.

I'm certain there will be more to follow!


Bobbi said...

That's great that you have such a positive outlook. I'm sure he'll do just fine. If not, you can choose something else for him. At least I hope thats an option. I'm so scared about regular school for Parker. It's such a big step.

Maddy said...

It is hard to get a 'good fit' as there as just so many variables and unknowns.

I do know that my older son's fit spec ed class. Although he was pretty much non verbal it turned out that he was 'top of heap' when it came to functioning, which is hard to believe now, because he was unable to dress, eat or toilet independently at the time.

However [I digress] the point was that for a whole year he was able to experience being 'best' being 'good'. His self esteem rocketed and he was so much happier. He became a 'helper,' rather than always being the one helped, another first.

Obviously I can't say how things will work out for you, but that's the benefit of at least some 'unknowns.'
Best wishes

Tibetan Star said...

I hope it'll all go well for you and your son.

Osh said...

I'm thinking good thoughts for you and yours this school year. I always start with fear and dread and Xanax. And prayers.

Casdok said...

Fingers crossed that all goes well.

EC said...

All the best for Casey and you with school.

It always sounds so odd to an Aussie the way you guys start school in September. We start in February!

Mama Mara said...

I'm with Maddy. Being top student has benefits, not just for self-esteem, but also for the brownie points it gets with the teacher.

I'm trying not to second-guess myself when it comes to decisions about school stuff. I never noticed it, but the term "second-guess" implies that my initial decision was a first guess. Guessing is the best we can do, and I can see that your guesses are very educated. Be proud.

Marla said...

That all sounds so familiar. M was always the highest functioning as well. In some cases it can be good. Other children looked up to her and she is certainly a child worth looking up to as is Casey. In other ways it can be rough.

I am glad you have a positive attitude though and that things are going pretty well. I am excited to be catching up with you.

kristi said...

I sort of was bummed to see some of the kids in my son's class. But he is getting so much more one on one attention, it makes it okay in my book.

He has had a few bumps in the road, but this year is looking very promising.