Friday, September 16, 2016

How's It Going?

We've finished the first two weeks of school and I've had lots of people ask how Evan is doing (thank you, by the way...I appreciate the interest and the ability to talk it through). Here are my thoughts:

  • The bus is going GREAT!! I think this is one of Evan's favorite parts of school, though Shayna tells me that he sits by himself in the afternoon and gets lost in his own little world. He wears headphones the whole time, and my guess is that it acts as a deterrent for others to engage him in conversation. I think he really enjoys participating in something he watches other kids do, and he hasn't asked even once for a ride to or from school.
  • School is not so great, and he cries every morning. Most of his complaints make little sense to us, but we think that he doesn't like his SpEd teacher/classroom and he would prefer to stay in the regular classroom instead of being pulled out. He's had some trouble at recess with some other boys not giving him a turn on a piece of equipment, and I've made his teacher defensive already when I sent an email stating that Evan was afraid to ask his assistant for help on the playground because she was talking with other adults. While I admit that Evan's perception of events is often distorted, his information is the only thing I have to go on, so I reported what he told me and asked them to let his assistant know that he needs help. I'm pretty sure the school is throwing darts at my face already.
  • I've learned that not all of the information on Evan made it to his new school, and so I'm figuring out by trial and error what is missing. First, I realized that his daily communication sheet was never discussed, and then I got the new school to do a daily sheet but then it didn't get sent home to me, though it took me two days to figure that out. The recess issue prompted me to ask if his recess plan made it to them, which - shocker - it did not, so that got sent over last night at about 8:30. What else is missing? I don't know, but I'll probably figure it out the hard way.
  • Evan has missed two full days of school already for his neuropsych testing, and has to miss another day next week. His testing is going well, if scoring poorly is your desired outcome. I'm able to sit in on his testing, which I've never done before, and it is fascinating and heart breaking. I look forward to the results because I think, for the first time, we are going to get a much clearer picture of his academic limitations and that will help us get him the services he needs in school. Here is a great example of how his mind works: he was asked to find the common factor in groupings of three; one of the groupings was banana, orange, and apple. What is the common factor? They are all fruit. Evan's answer? "You can peel a banana, you can peel an orange, and you can try to peel an apple." The significance of his answer is that he is unable to see the big picture in even the simplest of things; I could go on with some of the other observations I've made, but I'll let the doctor give her formal opinion before I cement my own. Suffice it to say that, this kid is struggling to make sense of his world around him and the amount of effort he must put forth to hold it together at school is staggering. He said to me last week, I'm tired of pretending to be happy - cue heartache here. 
  • The start of school meant the start of his fall therapy schedule, which currently only consists of speech and OT. I'm actively trying to find a CBT and ABA therapist/group for him, and at one facility I'm in the middle of a 5-10 business day wait to have access to the intake paperwork - just the paperwork, which doesn't even mean that any of the docs have openings or would be a good fit. Crazy. The fee to submit paperwork, by the way, is $95. Again, this doesn't even guarantee us a spot...this is just for the privilege of having them review the forms. CRAZY.
That's all I've got. I'm tired of tears and crying, of hearing Evan describe himself as a loser and a jerk. This will pass, but it's mentally exhausting. Back to school can be SO hard for many families, and entering a school system where I know no one is more worrisome than I had expected. I am looking forward to Evan's school open house next week, though; we got a sneak peek from his teacher, who sent a picture of the bulletin board covered with self portraits...Evan drew his future self, complete with a cavity in one of his front teeth...I sure hope someone at school is appreciating his sense of humor, at the very least.

Happy crazy September, everyone :)