It's only September, and I've been fooled into thinking "maybe this year will be the year" before, but maybe this really will be the year...school goes well.
I remember the beginning of last year for K. Third grade, in a typical classroom, with a lot of supports. Early in the year, her teacher told me how well things were going, and how she hadn't seen any of the issues we'd seen in 2nd grade. Part of me felt defensive...I swear there were issues! But, another part of me felt that maybe maturity was on our side, and 3rd grade would be the turning point. A lot of people say 3rd grade is the make it or break it year. Kids are required to be more independent in their work. All things social get even more tricky. It's really just the year your child goes from baby to big kid. Scary, yet I had hope.
Of course, things didn't go as planned. Third grade didn't continue to go well, past those first few weeks. K does the opposite of most, where the first few weeks are GREAT, and then we hit a rough patch. She's always excited to start school, and we never have that initial issue with transition. Probably because those last few weeks of summer vacation are so all over the place, she's glad to have some routine back.
But, after those first few weeks of 3rd grade, we definitely hit a rough patch. Long story short, she went from mainstream, to autism class, to home tutoring, to private placement. Yes, 3rd grade was the make or break year for her, and unfortunately the latter happened. I've admittedly had a hard time adjusting to her not being three minutes down the street at our neighborhood school, but that's my issue, really. Sometimes it's hard to let go of every dream, all at once. But, I do realize my dreams are mine, not hers, and I'm working hard to get over myself.
Right now, she is doing so well at her new school. Amazingly well. Of course, nothing is ever perfect, but this is leaps and bounds better than where she was before (and I want to add that her 3rd grade teacher was awesome. It wasn't her fault that K wasn't successful in the mainstream. Since first grade, K has been blessed with fantastic teachers. I think that helped her make it as far as she did.)
This past week alone, I've received such positive reports from two different people at her school. How well she is doing. How engaged she is. How she's even reading out loud in class (which is huge for my reading challenged kid!) She is participating, and happy. Basically the polar opposite of before. It helps that her new school is year round. Even though she missed a couple weeks this summer because of camp, she still had way more routine than any previous ESY. If there's any kid who thrives on consistency, it's K.
K has a lot of potential, and I want to make sure she achieves everything she desires in life. She has big dreams, and I hope everything we're doing, the program she is in right now, plays a part in her seeing those dreams come true. I do struggle sometimes, knowing inclusion (or our district's idea of inclusion), didn't work. I struggle figuring out what placement will work for her long-term. But, for now, I'll just take the happiness this new school has brought out in K. She deserves it.