Twas’ the night before kindergarten graduation…

homeschool, IEPs, and autism

So, tomorrow. The end of an era.  Our little Moose moves on from the cushioned world of early childhood…to the big leagues.

We still have a long road ahead.  This year academics has taken a backseat to plain ol’ life skills, and despite a remarkable teacher and a overall incredible school year- this mom is at a crossroads. Where do we go from here?  New therapy?  Homeschool?  Stick it out one more year in the great program he is in?

Which is WHY it has been so quiet around these parts lately.  I’m just on a plateau-looking for  a sign, praying for grace and energy.  A whole lot of praying.

homeschool, IEPs, and autism

I have been thinking a great deal about education. And what that really means for my two sons who are both markedly different square pegs in a round-hole school system.  Well, not Monkey.  He’s home for “school” next year.  But Moose?  Part of my heart wishes to bring him home, but he is with a teacher who has a heart of gold and I don’t know yet if I can do both boys with such profound and different needs.  I just don’t know.  Only time will tell.  Moose is in a great spot “for school” while Monkey would be thrown in a shark tank with a fuzzy curriculum and 30 kids in a class.  That was a no brainer.

But first, the sad news. Moose didn’t meet his IEP goals this year.  At all. Reading? Not doing it.  Math.  We still are beating our heads over 1:1 correspondence.  But at this point, despite that I know what my son is capable of, we haven’t quite been able to reach him yet.  At his IEP this past week, I questioned the methodology.  The case manager said that was the first time a parent ever did that in a meeting.

I suggested a few things I’ve noticed here at home.  He loves predictable picture books and has some favorites committed to memory. He can memorize book phrases.  He is drawn to music.  It’s like a small crack of light at the end of the dark hallway.

During my years teaching and private tutoring, I had a lot of tough kids.  Nothing I saw in the classroom or in my tutoring business prepared me to be a mother of kids with special needs.  Nothing.  I’ve never had a kid as a “non-responder”.  Which is kind of what Moose did this year.

I really do believe God has given me these boys to crack the code of special needs. I believe the mad skills I’ve earned in my business at The Classroom Creative will serve the needs of my highly visual sons. He does give us the paths we need in life.  I believe that.  I need the resurrect the energy I had as a teacher in my 20s, and give it to my sons.

My son will read. He will write.  He will do math.  He will overcome all of this.

This summer,  plan to make up for lost time and failed IEP goals.  We start summer homeschool 8:00 sharp on Monday morning.  The coffee pot will be brewing.
Thankfully,
Nicolette

 

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8 Comments

  1. Saying a prayer for you and the boys…and one just for you, that you find peace in your decisions. Also, congrats on surviving another school year.

    1. Thanks for the prayers, Caralyn. I’m sure God is sick of hearing from me lately. 🙂

      This year was one to survive: the polar vortex and commuting there alone. And their school starts before 8:00 am, which was a killer…lol…

      Thanks for the sweet thoughts,
      Nic

  2. First, I miss you guys tremendously. Secondly, HELL YES, with you as his teacher, guide, advocate, HE WILL absolutely do all those things.

    love you.

  3. Hi again, I just want to encourage you to go with what feels right for each of your sons. I know Moose has some challenges but with your support he will find his way. I only say this because you mentioned IEP which really means nothing to Moose. My son really never read until 7th or 8th grade! I had him in home and waldorf schools so there was little pressure on him. He now has a job programing 5 axis computers (very higher math) and makes the most beautiful leather wallets in his spare time. He’s 30 now. Do all you can for Moose with the basics of good food and emotional support and allow him to find his own way. He will get to where he is supposed to be. All the best to you and your family.

    1. Thank you, Susan. It is a great reminder to allow them to be on their own timetables, rather than what is prescribed by the educational system. I’m still trying to erase many of the edicts from my time in the school system. 🙂

      Good food, love, and support indeed.

      I wish we had Waldorf near us that was affordable. Le Sigh.

      My best,
      Nicolette

  4. I just stumbled upon your blog through a series of random connected links. I think we should talk.
    Your son didn’t fail his IEP goals, they failed him.
    By all means DO question his teachers’ methodology.
    The KEY is finding the way in. You SHOULD continue to tell them what works at home. Also, don’t worry about where he is compared to other kids in his grade, right now only his emotional and physical health is important.

    I have a 15 year old with Aspergers. (hehe, Google wants to correct that word with “aspersions”-go figure, too many people don’t know anything about it). It has been a very long journey, but it has been interesting, too. (and exhausting, frustrating, joyful, painful, dismal and amazing-all at once, sometimes).
    My son is mainstream now in a regular school, doing well, with friends and hope for a “normal” future.

    I’m not a blogger, just a mom. You have my email if you want to contact me.

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