Things have been pretty uneventful for us lately! Isn’t that unusual? Isn’t that awesome?
I had a meeting at Mikey’s school about his transition to kindergarten–a meeting that would have been very different had we not started him on medication a month ago! His early intervention teacher suggested she was going to recommend sending him to his feeder school (Mikey goes to a magnet Montessori) given some of his behavior challenges. The feeder school has more support resources in-house for “school age” kids (meaning Kindy on up).
Of course, the school district prefers all kids who have intervention services to attend their feeder school. At least this is what they said at our meeting. I actually laughed at them suggesting that as a viable choice–Mikey’s feeder school has 55% proficiency in reading, 66% in math. Not that I even like standardized tests, but this is telling data.
Worse, they have a 13 point gap racial desparity–meaning the average student of color scores 13 points worse than the average caucasian student at that school (and there’s only about 10-20 caucasian students at the school).
I didn’t mention any of this, though. I simply mentioned that the average kindergarten class size numbered into the 30s, and Mikey already struggles with attentiveness. Surely that would not improve in such an overcrowded classroom!
Anyway, everyone agreed, then, that Mikey will continue on to kindergarten next year. He’ll be in the same classroom with the same teacher (unless she earns a principal job somewhere…we’re all selfishly worried because she is completing graduate school!). He’ll be the “big 5” in the classroom next year, and judging by how he rises to being a 4 this year, we know he’ll really enjoy being a role model in the mixed age room.
This is how my big guy dresses for school now, because, as he says, “I am a professional.”
He’s doing so well, in fact, that we’re transitioning him to stay 4 full days each week, both by his request and Cody’s/my preference. His TSS has been taking careful notes and reporting data, but she mostly sits on a chair these days in the back of the room, not supporting Mikey directly. It’s been hard to justify her continued presence to insurance companies, so we’re cutting her hours back to 6 per week at school. She’ll complete these hours in the afternoons and help Mikey transition to the full days of school, but we think before long we’ll ease her out of even that.
Cody and I also talked about it, and we’d like to eliminate TSS hours at home. For one thing, Mikey will be in no mood to sit and work on social skills when he comes home from a full day of school. For another, Cody and I really feel like we have learned about all we can learn from our wrap-around team in terms of intervention when Mikey does have an episode or challenge.
We will still have our wonderful BSC with us, and she’ll still come to our house 2 hours per week. This will be partly to touch base with me about what’s going on in school and partly to work directly with Mikey reinforcing any skills we’d like to focus on.
Hopefully we aren’t jumping the gun in eliminating all these services. We fought so hard for a YEAR to get them in place!
But, truly, this particular medication has proven to be exactly what Mikey needs at this stage. We are proud of him and we can tell he is proud of himself when he makes great decisions and has a peaceful day. Plus, with Alex about to turn 2, I’d easily say Mikey is the easier of my two children to parent.
Mikey is quite fond of pointing out when Alex makes poor choices. Like, in the middle of a screaming fit where Alex is shredding important bills and throwing raw eggs on the floor, Mikey will lecture, “Alex, you are making a red choice. Do you think you are going to clean up that mess? Because that would be a green, peaceful choice.”
Maybe I should start a separate blog bemoaning my aggressive two-year-old!