I was not going to write about this because it is a very hot-button issue in our house. But for that fact alone I have to post it. This blog is about us redefining perfect in our lives – and telling how we do it. No subject should be avoided, especially the ones that cut so deep to our heart that we fight about it within our house. Because this is one of those topics w/ opposing viewpoints (at least it started that way) – I’ve asked Archie to write a post as well. I’ll post it once he has written it.
She’s 5 years old.
She’s intelligent beyond belief. Possibly even brilliant.
Socially…emotionally…well, let’s just say she’s not near as ready.
I didn’t think she was ready. Not for a classroom full of crazy kids (not that they’re insane, they’re…well, for lack of a better term…they’re normal). Not to be expected to be that same normal.
I admit to a bit a bias. Our first attempt at school was not successful. It was developmental preschool, specifically for special needs. Riley lost learning. Her behavior at home became erratic and violent. She was withdrawn before Christmas.
Now she had to go to ‘normal’ every day kindergarten…with neurotypical kids.
I wanted her evaluated first.
School said no dice – she has to be in for 6 weeks so we can see how much is normal reaction/adjustment to being in school.
It went against what my gut said – but after much debate and discussion with Archie (who believed just as strongly that she had to go into school), Riley was enrolled. Literally the day before the first day of school she was enrolled & given a teacher whom we met that very night.
We ‘warned’ her teacher, explained how Molly was. How they wouldn’t evaluate her and just gave her a heads up on what she might expect.
The next day school began.
The roller coaster ride took off so fast I couldn’t catch my breath.
Excitement. Anger. Glee. Stress. Happiness. Stubborn refusal to attend. Joy off the bus. “I don’t want to go to school.” “I had much fun at school.” “I miss you Mom.” More stress. Increasingly erratic behavior at home.
Every day is a struggle to get her to school. She doesn’t want to go.
Then off the bus it’s happy and chatty.
Within an hour I’m fending off the hounds of hell. Trying to keep calm.
Suddenly Riley’s aversion to loud noises is back with a bang. At school the teacher has given her leave to put herself in time-out with her own personal basket of Sensory Diversionary toys when things get ‘too loud’ or ‘too crazy’ for her.
Then we get a letter from school, informing us that they are recommending Speech Therapy for her. That (surprise of surprises) she qualifies!
The more I thought about it, the more annoyed I got.
I could have told them that. If they’d evaluated her BEFORE school, all of that would be known. I don’t NEED her to be forced into ‘normal’ behavior for six weeks to tell you how she’ll react and what she needs. Don’t make me wait (at least) 6 weeks to get her what she needs. To make her teacher fumble around for (at least) 6 weeks to try to figure it out. Don’t make an innocent child suffer for 6 weeks for something I could tell you NOW. TODAY.
It’s all rotten.
And I still hate it. My gut still tells me to get her the hell out of Dodge until she’s ready.
Before my eyes she’s unraveling again. The balance we achieved has been thrown off. I don’t know if we’ll ever find it again…whether she stays in or gets out…the balance has been shifted forever.
We’re still in the middle of this process. Decisions are being made and changed, and we’re trying to find even ground again.
If there is such a thing anymore.