Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Schooltime.... kinda

Now, I know at least one of you is dying to know about R2's first day at school. I will tell you.

Yesterday morning I woke up super early and couldn't go back to sleep. This usually happens any time I have a morning appointment. No matter that my appointment is at 9. The ol' brain thinks sleeping past 6:30 is risking it. So I lay there for an hour and then the babies woke up and took over the world. So we ate oatmeal and then I started getting Richy ready.

He looked so cute in his little uniform and he was pretty excited about evidently, something going on. We drove up to the school and went in and met the Autism Specialist, who was to be his buddy during his observation. Don't know if I explained this... since he's never been in school and he's in the 4th grade, they are legally required to observe him in a normal class to make sure he couldn't just be in normal classes. Their original plan was for him to sit in there the whole day, but I vetoed that. So they said maybe he could just go for an hour with this coordinator with him and observing... and I felt okay about that.

Elly (the specialist) was really great and liked him a lot. We got to the mainstream classroom about 10 minutes early so he could explore and get used to the room before the kids got there. And he was talking and wandering around, much more engaged in his surroundings than usual. So I hung around for a few minutes and then said goodbye and left just before the kids came in. I walked back down the long hallway to my van, enjoying all the antics and goofiness of all the little kids (we are the racial minority at the school)... and then I sat in my van and cried.

I came back in an hour and they had spent 45 minutes in the normal class and a little while in the special ed classroom... so we talked about how he did (great, he's sweet, follows directions, that's my boy) and what the plan will probably be. 80% of the time in the special ed class and then art, music and gym in his actual grade level, with a personal aide. I signed 40,000 papers and we made a temporary IEP (individualized education program). Nothing is really set in stone until they finish all his testing and evaluations in mid-October.

Then we went and looked at the special classroom. Now, this is where I started getting excited. They have bathrooms in there, where they work on pottying, as well as other hygiene skills. They also have a full kitchen where they practice cooking, and serving their own snacks. They eat family-style around a table, learning not just manners, but basic table skills like passing food around, and how to cut food, clean up, everything. One of the focuses of the program is teaching these kids some independence. Very cool. They also work on some academic and pre-academic skills, like shapes, letters, colors, numbers...

When we were done with checking out the classroom, we went to the front desk and got the bad news... he cannot start school officially until he has his shot records. Problem is, I have been trying to get those records for a month. They are in an archive vault somewhere in Houston and for some reason, no one can get them to me. VERY frustrating. So I've been on the phone countless hours (and you know how I love it) and am still getting a run-around. Still exploring possibilities and hoping I get an advocate, either at the school, or at the clinic in Houston.

So it's the story of my life, hurry up and wait.


  1. Wow! I am crying and rejoicing with you. I will pray with you about the shots. Where are they supposed to be?
    Anyway that program looks so great. All the things he needs. I love you so much, mama

  2. Jess!

    Do you guys have any of the old Praise Band CDs?

    I know they're the scourge of the Earth to you guys...but, if thats the case...then you can send me one and be rid of them!


  3. Mama: the shots were all done at Chosen, but they've archived them and can't find the shot record, or something.

    Nate: nope.

  4. Would it help for me to go down there?

  5. Also did his pediatrician up here have a copy of them? You know the one who was at Hermann originally, the lady.

  6. Not that I am a fan of over medicating, but couldn't he just get booster shots of whatever they require? Seems like that would be faster, but I fully admit I know nothing...

    Also, I am SO excited that he is in such a cool program. I hope he loves it.

  7. Awesome for R2!! Sounds like a really good program.

    Options for getting R2 into school:
    1) Fill out this form and lie about a medical exemption. I don’t recommend this... I'm just sayn'.

    2) Send your mama down there to give her death stare at them and say she won't leave without those records! I recommended this one!

  8. Yess! we have to go get his 5 year old shots today (2 or 3 shots) and then we'll be ready to go! Wahoo!

  9. You can also sign a form saying your child does not recieve imunizations for religous reasons. They can't actually force you to give your kids imunizations, they can go to school without them. You just have to sign the right forms.

  10. i love it, Josh. i need to practice in the mirror for a while as I am out of practice! Mama


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