Life, Plot Twists, and Other Bits

I realized tonight it’s been 4 years since I last wrote anything here.  While in the grand scheme of things that may not seem like much, it feels like a lifetime right now.  Not long after my last post, my dad passed away unexpectedly turning all our lives upside down.  I found myself grieving while struggling to keep my kids going and make ends meet as a single parent.  Yes, there is more to this than I have put on paper. But sometimes, even in this era of oversharing, there are somethings that are meant to be kept private.

Where was I?  Oh, yes, leaving the unwelcome plot twist behind.

I left off with the fight to get my A into an appropriate pre-K setting.  Won that one.  She has attended the same school as her brother for 4 years now and the difference is amazing.  Being in a blended classroom with an ESE pre-K teacher made a world of difference for her.  Granted, we had a number of months with her hiding in a cubby for most of the day or screaming under a table, but we got past that before kindergarten!  Throughout pre-K and kindergarten, A continued to grow by leaps and bounds.   Then we hit 1st grade.

Hear that squealing sound?  That would be the brakes on the wheel of progress.

Despite having been through therapy for anxiety and the continued work at home, 1st grade has been a difficult year.  Children with SPD/anxiety/OCD/pick a set of letters tend to like their routine and REALLY don’t like change.  A definitely fits that category.  Between the expectation that these 6 year olds can sit still and write a multi-paragraph essay and the lack of recess most days, A has not done well.  Oh, don’t get me wrong,  academically she is doing fantastic.  Emotionally however, the kid is a wreck.

I now have the dubious distinction of being the parent of a runner.  Yep, my child was that child who runs out of the classroom.  Although, she does give fair warning before she leaves.  No, really!  She packs her bag, announces, “I can’t take this anymore.  I’m done!” and then walks/runs out of the room.  Now, before you all want to start playing criticize the teacher let me say one thing.

STOP!  A has an amazing teacher who has gone out of her way to work with us to make sure that A is successful, despite not getting support from the district and struggling in the classroom environment.  She gives A breaks when she needs them, allows her to have fidgets, and sends home her work if she shuts down and won’t do it in class.  And, before anyone says, “Well her IEP (or 504) should have all that and legally they have to follow it.”  Please know that this teacher did all this before A’s 504 was amended to include all her accommodations.  This teacher, and several of her teammates, have gone above and beyond and for that I can never thank them enough.  We (and by we I mean myself, her teachers, and a few other staff members at the school) are still struggling to get A through each day.  Some days are hard, others are easy.

Thankfully, we are seeing a light at the end of this particular tunnel.  Of course, that light just means additional letters for A’s new diagnoses.  After much paperwork, various behavioral and developmental inventories and questionnaires, A has some new letters to add to her list.  Letters like, ADHD and ASD .  (cue horror music)  Yep.  She has those letters, ASD.  (Okay, you can turn off the mental soundtrack now.)  What this means for the future, I don’t exactly know yet.  We still have a round of testing to do next month to attempt to figure out approximately where A falls on the spectrum.  All the doctor could tell us for now is that she is definitely high functioning and it will become more challenging as she gets older to keep her from getting bored in school because she is “gifted” as well.  Oh well.  All we can do is take it one step at a time.

On the upside, at least I can never say my life is boring!

I know this post was rather rambling and not at all my best writing, but thanks for sticking it out and staying with me this far.  Future posts will most likely be much easier to follow…