Monday, June 4, 2012

Bittersweet Transitions

My boys were put into a school that was not our assigned "home" school for preschool, Kindergarten and the first year of first grade because our home school did not have a self-contained class for special needs children. Even though they spent about half of their days in a regular class, they still needed a lot of time working on their IEP goals in the self-contained class. However, as the boys have gotten older, their needs have changed. This brings about happy, yet scary, transitions.

You see, Andrew was in a regular class for the majority of the day in his first year of first grade (although technically enrolled in the self-contained class) and was in a regular class his second year of first grade with pull-out resource. This made him flourish academically and socially. At his recent IEP meeting, it was decided that he would be losing speech and PT at school and would be cutting back significantly on his resource time. He is staying in a regular class and is spending more time there and less time with extra help!!! It's amazing! We were never sure if this would ever actually happen.

The problem: He no longer needs the services that exist at his current school and will have to be transferred back to his home school. Now that he doesn't need the special needs class, they can accommodate his needs.

However, Andrew has been embraced and accepted for who he is at his current school. He has friends and the teachers all know him. I am terrified that he won't be able to find that same level of acceptance at a different school because he will be starting over at an older age. A lot of the kids at his current school have known him or seen him around since he was 3 years old. We put in a transfer request, but even if it is accepted this year, there is absolutely no guarantee that they don't send him to our home school next year or in 3 years. What I don't want to happen is him to go to middle school with a whole new set of kids. Middle school is hard enough without adding extra issues onto it. Kids make fun of the kid who is just a little different in middle school.... what will happen to the kid in the wheelchair? So, the decision is that he will go now while the kids are still young enough to hopefully be less judgmental and more accepting.

We are nervous, but hopeful. After meeting with the resource teacher from his new school, I am encouraged that he will find a place there.

Andy at his field day where he won 2 first place ribbons...
while surrounded by his many friends and classmates.

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