Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sending Dallas to school

Sending your child off to school for the first time is nerve racking for any loving, caring mama. I remember Boston starting Kindergarten and feeling those odd feelings as I dropped him off the first day, not feeling comfortable enough for him to walk to class alone, I walked him everyday for a few weeks. It was when he begged me to drop him off and him walk alone, it was in that moment that I looked at him and realized how fast he was growing up.

And now I'm at another crossroads. It's time for baby #2 to start Kindergarten. My precious, loving, big hearted Dallas is all ready to begin big boy school. But Mama isn't ready! Mama has been a wreck all week at the thought of it. Not only do I have the normal uneasy, nervous, send your baby off all day kind of feelings that are normal. Layered on top of that are the protective, shelter him feelings of a Mama of a child with Aspergers. The feelings that you don't want anyone to misunderstand them, a child to make fun of them, them to not understand what is expected of him or act the wrong way. The feeling like you need to be there, right beside them to hold their hand and for them to feel your unconditional love and protect them from getting hurt. As I write this the tears well up inside of me. It's been a rough few days. It wasn't until yesterday that I saw more clearly the reason why.

There's a lot of back story that hasn't been written on here because of our precious new baby in the house and the lack of time for me to blog. Dallas is scheduled to be going to a public school with a wonderful Aspergers program. Originally he was to be main streamed in with all the other kids but after several evaluations they thought it might be good for him to be in a special class, get the help he would need for long term success and then we integrate him back in with the "normal" class. After much prayer I felt peace about this and we went forward. We really had no choice. The Charter school that Boston had gotten into Dallas still wasn't into yet. And I knew homeschool wasn't going to work for Dallas with the two little ones at home and it was better he went away so he could also get the therapies he needs that I cannot supply him.

All was good....until Saturday morning. I woke up with a very uneasy feeling at the school Dallas was assigned to. I felt distraught, upset, nervous. I was on my way to take Dallas to a birthday party so I tried to just forget about it. Why was I feeling this way? I had so much peace about it before. Where were these feelings coming from? Then, there at the party, I was introduced to another mom who's daughter would be going to the Charter school for kindergarten next year, the same grade Dallas would be. She was #17 on the list and had gotten in 2 weeks ago. What! Dallas had been #7 but when Boston was in got moved up to #4. Why wasn't HE in!!!!???? I was angry and my blood pressure was slowing escalating.

All the way home I vowed I would call the school on Monday and call them out on it and get my son in! But Sean quickly calmed me down and said that the program Dallas was going into was supposed to be excellent and that God would work it all out. You see, the school the program is in is in a very bad part of town. It's not a "good" school, even though the program is good. That might explain some of the uneasy feelings I have. I sat back and decided I wouldn't call the charter school, I would let fate run its course and God was in control and knew what was best for him.

On Monday I called the school to make sure everything was all set up for Dallas and find out when open house was. They informed me that although his IEP had been sent over that he wasn't registered for the school and I would need to come in to do that. So on Tuesday I drove to the school. The uneasiness engulfed me and I prayed the whole way there, "Lord, if this is the school you have chosen for Dallas show me and give me complete peace about it. " Needless to say it wasn't a good experience. I felt horrible the entire time I was there. Everyone at the school was staring at us like we were in the wrong place and needed to leave. I didn't end up getting him registered because I was missing a piece of paperwork. I loaded everyone up quickly and drove away with tears in my eyes. Before I was out of the parking lot I was calling the Charter school. After explaining the situation about the other little girl getting in I was put on hold for a long time. Finally they came back on and said someone would be calling me back later that day.

No call.

So Wednesday afternoon I called and they told me that the director of the school was planning on calling me this afternoon. The director! Did that mean good news or back news. I was sick all day over it.

Finally at 4:30 that afternoon, after I had given up that I would get a return phone call that day and would have to call back tomorrow, my phone rang. She apologized for the misunderstanding with the little girl getting in and informed me that Dallas did actually have a spot but they were needing to call me to schedule a time to come in and evaluate him to make sure this would be a good fit for him. Evidently the lady who handles this has been at the hospital because her baby is in the hospital. You can only imagine my elation! So next week we will have an evaluation with the school. I'm not sure what this will entail but I'm praying it goes well. What a relief to know that he would be going to this amazing school that was started by the director who is a pastors wife and they themselves have an autistic kid who they wanted mainstreamed in the regular classroom and decided to make a school where it would be possible. A school where that demands healthy eating, no sugar and lots of water drinking. A school that does Brain Integration Therapy for PE. A school that has zero tolerance for making fun of other kids because they are different. A school that uses cutting edge technology when it comes to helping kids with learning disorders.

A school that is PERFECT for our family!

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