Thursday, September 04, 2003

The day after

I'd like to report that my reassurances to my daughter all summer long that middle school would be fine were prophetic, and that everything was indeed okay. Alas, she came home crying and saying she didn't like middle school at all and dreading the fact that she ever had to go back again. I'd hoped that, since she's in an inclusion class and is supposed to have a special-ed teacher to help her, someone would be making sure throughout the day that she was okay and knew what to do. I'd hoped that, since her IEP specifies that she has auditory processing problems and needs visual aids and reinforcement, someone would understand that a day spent listening to rules and regulations and instructions of all sorts would be beyond stressful. And maybe they did -- once my girl gets panicky, she can't explain what's going on with her very well, to people at school or to me, either.

I spent the evening calming her down, setting up what routines I could with limited knowledge of the school day, getting her a notebook big enough to hold what she'd need to get through the day in case she couldn't figure her locker out, writing notes to teachers in the hope they'd give a little aid and comfort. It's not the way I'd like to start out; I spend a lot of time convincing people that my daughter doesn't need hand-holding, and that she should be given the opportunity to do anything the other kids are doing. I believe that's true, and that once she gets comfortable she will be fine in middle school. But for this first week? A little hand-holding would probably be good.

Meanwhile, back at elementary school, my son had a good first day. They did manage to scare up an aide for him, and his teacher did set up a meeting with me within the first week as promised, and all in all the prognosis is good. Just so there's no crisis with him until I settle the crisis with his sister. One disaster at a time, is all I ask.

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