One of the biggest anxieties The Boy has about moving is that he will miss his ESY program (that’s Extended School Year, if you weren’t aware). ESY is a service that public schools provide to children who would otherwise take a drastic step backward in their academic and behavioral progress if they did not continue a type of school structure through the summer months. Many districts keep this service on the down-low because if parents don’t know about it, and don’t ask about it, and they don’t happen to mention it at the IEP, they don’t have to have a program and pay for it. I know districts that do this on purpose, intimately. Some districts even go so far as to tell parents that their children don’t need it, just so that they don’t have to have a program…
But The Boy’s district has a fabulous program, although it has scaled back even in the five years The Boy has attended, I’m assuming due to funding cuts. In any case, he digs it. Looks forward to it, and collects the T-shirts (even from years before he attended, thanks to an awesome gift from his amazing ASD teacher). It’s like really, really laid back school. But it’s structure, and school-like, so The Boy can’t get enough.
Now, when we move, from what I can tell, there is nothing like that where we will be. Plan B is a summer program offered either by the Boys and Girls Club or the City Parks and Rec department. If it isn’t Boy-friendly (i.e. they’re not used to having special needs kids participate…), it soon will be. I can guarantee that.
I just hope we can get him in a daily program with enough structure that he will enjoy it, and maybe meet some new friends. It breaks my heart that he won’t be able to attend ESY, but I hope with a little planning and forethought, we can find him the next best thing.
Wish us luck!