Wednesday, September 19, 2012

School is "Normal"

Our family's life is NOT "normal".  It's eccentric.  It's planned.  It's busy.  And it's all about "routine".

On August 27, our new routine began.  School started.  And "school" now means something different than it has for the last 2.5 years.  It means going down the street to our neighborhood school.  It means that all 3 siblings are in the same building.  It means that we are just like everyone else.

But are we?

In the 3.5 weeks of school, Big Brother has been caught lying and punished appropriately (which is still ongoing).  Ballerina left the sheltered world of special education and is expected to comply in a classroom with 16 other students while Music Man is next door to her in the special education classroom with a slide and a swing clearly visible in the room, something that she doesn't get.  Music Man has those comforts available to him, but he has a teacher literally in his face from the beginning of the day until the end until he shows himself capable of independent work.

All three of my children are being more challenged in school then they have ever been.

For Big Brother, the challenges are more academic.  He's very bright and has very high expectations of himself.  But he does have his academic shortcomings which are truly coming to light as they are being addressed.  I think he's finding this very frustrating because he doesn't like it when something just doesn't come naturally to him.  But as he learns these new materials, his confidence will blossom.

Music Man has also seen less of a change.  He is used to being in a classroom setting.  He's used to learning much during circle time and transitioning to a group table to do assignments, as that's what he's been doing since he turned 3.  And from what I can see, he is handling the transition to the new school year the best of my 3 kids.

Ballerina has the hardest change of all.  She started kindergarten -- a huge milestone for all kids.  And she left the protection of special education (even though she still has the support of an IEP) and she now has to meet the expectations of her teacher.  And her teacher will not back down (for which we are VERY grateful).  But she has had a great deal of difficulty adjusting to her new school.  She is regularly placed in Time Out (currently averaging 2-3 times per day).  She wants to do things her way and she really doesn't understand why she can't do things the way she wants.

Today though, was her best day.  She only had one problem.  She didn't want to come in from recess and she, once again, found herself in Time Out when she arrived back in the classroom.  But, unlike most days, when the Time Out was over, she did what was asked of her and really didn't require any additional disciplining the rest of the day.

We will be evaluating Ballerina's transition in a review meeting next month.  At that time, hopefully she will have finally found her comfort zone and will be more compliant with her teacher allowing her to be more comfortable with her peers.  I'm really not pushing her academically right now......she is ahead of many of her peers in reading and the math will come quickly once she understands what her teacher is asking of her.  Right now, her behavior is my biggest concern.

So, about 1 month into the school year I can say that things are going about as well as planned.  Dad seems to feel that things are going better than expected, but I'm not sure I agree.  In some respects, he's right.  But I wish we were further along than we are.


  1. It's good that things are going as you expected. I too, am in the same boat. It usually takes my son a couple of months to settle in at school. After all there's a new teacher, new students and new expectations. All of which can adversely affect kids with ASDs.

    1. True True True!!!! We've got a few surprises coming their way these next few weeks.....going to be VERY interesting around here..... ;)

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