I’ve written recently about how many changes The Boy is handling at school (and at home) and how well he is doing with all of it. His school schedule has been sorted, relatively, and his TA is growing into her role as the point of contact at the school.
I, too, have been handling some big change. I left my job and got a new one, and even though it presents new challenges due to being a little less than full time, I think it quite possibly saved my sanity. I look forward to going to work again, and learning new tasks with a new crew of people who are not constantly gossiping, backstabbing, and sabotaging. Even though I work with people much younger than me now, the maturity level is infinitely higher than the workplace I left.
We also closed on the sale of our house and moved into our temporary home while we build on our lot. The house was left fairly dirty, and the walls were a goldenrod color (seriously??), so we had to clean and paint before unpacking completely, and I was about ready to tear my hair out, but it’s been about a week, and we are finally settling in. I love being on this side of town, and we are so close to The Boy’s school, that The Man is now taking him in the morning, alleviating some of our morning anxieties. The Boy loves it because he gets to sleep in later (ha!).
And everything kind of happened at once. Autism families recognize this as having great potential for disaster, but (knock on wood) we are all adjusting quite well, and much that is positive has come from this round of changes. I guess change is inevitable, but sometimes we get scared. Life is too short to be miserable and afraid, though, and taking risks can result in positive things. It’s good to be reminded of that.
The downside of having a son with autism in secondary school is the sheer numbers of teachers we have to re-train each year. And I’m only half-joking. Most of the teachers we have encountered since the Big School Switch of ’13, have been accommodating and flexible, and have fallen in love with The Boy relatively quickly, wanting to do anything in their power to help him succeed. But here we are at the beginning of a new school year, dealing with stuff that is very clearly spelled out in his IEP, and the teachers are not yet implementing.
One of The Boy’s IEP goals directly relates to his use of the agenda, speaks to his difficulties in this area, yet within the first two weeks of school, we still only had one teacher ensuring he was utilizing it in his class. Then the homework hit the fan this week, when I had no idea two assignments even existed before they were due in science and social studies.
I emailed the teachers last night, basically copying and pasting from last year’s introductory email, explaining The Boy’s need for help with communication, planner use, and the dire need for them to let me know what the hell is going on, but stated in much more genteel language. And I got some nice responses. Yet in today’s planner entry, there was clearly still some misunderstanding from whoever-it-was that was writing in the planner (clearly not the teacher – an aide? a substitute? Who IS this person telling me that his assignment wasn’t finished and needed to be finished by tomorrow??).
And then there were the assignments we had busted our butts to make sure he got done, that were returned in his planner this evening without having even been turned in. Yet another area of difficulty, yet another area in need of training.
After several emails, I finally got some traction and his program teacher has agreed to meet with his teachers tomorrow to review this stuff so we can get him going on the right track before he gets too behind. Thank goodness I don’t have to re-train her every year! She’s worth her weight in gold. 🙂