Monday, September 15, 2003

Out of the swim

The permission slip came home today for my son's school swimming lessons. They don't start for his class until December, but I'm being asked now to give the go-ahead. And I hate to tell him no, or to make decisions that set him apart as even more different. Hate, too, the thought of where they're going to find to stash him while the rest of his class buses it to the pool. But I just can't get past the conviction that he is not yet ready to be unsupervised in a locker room. His IEP specifies a one-on-one aide because, among other things, he needs constant supervision; removing that support for what will undoubtedly be the most stressful and overstimulating part of his week seems foolhardy at best. So I think I'll just have to be the big mean overprotective mom. A few things that are helping me do what needs to be done: a couple of articles by Theresa Kellerman on the FAS Community Resource Center, one on fetal alcohol affected kids' need for an external brain and another on "FAS and Inappropriate Sexual Behavior"; and an article by frequent reader Stephanie Mullins on the cost to her family of going along with an optimistic "try it and see how it does" policy. In this case, I don't think I need to try it to see.

On a happier note, I had my first volunteer experience at my daughter's middle school today, and it was interesting to settle in and take a look around. For one thing, I'm not going to be concerned anymore about following the letter of the dress code. I feel silly making my daughter give up her nice roomy T-shirts when so many kids are breaking the rules the other way and wearing tight cleavage-bearing tank tops. And never mind the kids -- look what the teachers are wearing. I'm pretty sure a couple of those cute young instructors were wearing skirts whose hems did not extend past their fingertips. I hope when they sit, they do it behind a desk.

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