The past two weeks have been such an emotional rollercoaster. In the weeks leading up to Knox’s birthday, we’ve been doing seemingly constant evaluations, meetings and preparatory work to get him ready for the transition into the school system. Basically he gets therapy through BabyNet until he’s three, when he ages out. At three years old, the school system takes over, plus he then qualifies for something in SC called the PDD Waiver, which provides him with ABA therapy. Long story short, I’ve been running around all over creation for a couple weeks now to get everything in order.
Last week, we had his IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meeting, which I must say, was the worst thing I’ve sat through since his initial Autism evaluation results meeting. It seriously felt like “Okay, your kid has Autism. Let’s go over every single move he made in his multiple evaluations, then discuss just how bad his Autism is AND how far behind he is. Then, we’ll talk about how he needs to be in special education and make you want to bawl your eyes out.” In a nutshell, anyway, that’s surely how it felt like it went. Everyone I dealt with in the district was amazing and kind, and it was really not their fault. They have to follow protocol for these meetings, and it’s just a little too blunt at some points. Obviously, I know the situation with my child, I know the severity of his problems, but it’s just really difficult to hear it over and over again. Plus, to hear things like how he is at preschool (where I don’t get to watch him) and get disillusioned as to his level of social interaction was upsetting. I am glad that part is over, and now we just move forward to get Knox what he needs.
His last day at our church preschool was last week on his birthday. I made a special snack for his class and they celebrated his birthday, which I thought was the perfect way to say good-bye to that chapter of his young life. Today was his first day at the elementary school. I went in last week to meet his teacher and get all of the forms I needed. She is fantastic, and I know he will adore her. Knox ended up at a different preschool than we originally thought he would because our first choice school only had an afternoon slot available, which was smack in the middle of his nap time. However, this school is really great, too, I just had already met all of the therapists at the first school, so I just had to change gears. One things we love is that his speech therapist, who has worked with him at our house for over a year, actually works at that school, so she gets to see him and he’ll know someone there. His class is the “high-assistance” preschool class, and they have one teacher and two assistants. We dropped him off together this morning, and he ran right in and was happy to be there.
Of course, I forgot Knox’s registration forms at work yesterday, so I had to drive an hour round-trip back last night to get them. Then, in the habit of my life, I left them on the dining room table this morning. Mom fail. So, I had to go back to get them while Trevor waited with Knox (since he wasn’t officially enrolled and all due to the lack of papers). I had also forgotten to pack my poor child a jacket (like I said, I fail at motherhood today), so I signed in and ran that to his room after I went to the office. He was sitting in circle time next to the ABA therapist while the teacher talked and showed them something on the overhead projector. He was grinning from ear to ear. Just like that, all of this stress and heartache was worth it. Because he is going to get what he needs there, and as much as I have wanted to scream “HE DOES NOT BELONG HERE!!” a million times as I’ve heard the words “special education” echoing in my head, maybe he does belong here right now. He may not always, but right now, he needs special attention, and he will get it here. That doesn’t make it any less hard for us as his parents, but parenthood isn’t always about doing what’s easy: it’s about doing what’s right, and sometimes, that’s really, really hard. I just pray that my boy knows one day that all of this was done for him, and that we’ve always tried our hardest to take care of him. He is so loved.
This work, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.