Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Heart-breaking Acceptance

This has been a rough week for me & it's only Tuesday!! I had a parent/teacher conference with Jailen's teacher yesterday. It went as expected, but was still a sad day. Let me back up & explain a bit since I haven't blogged in a year....

Jailen is 5 now & this is his 3rd year in the Preschool Early Intervention (PEI) class at our local elementary school. Last year I pushed for inclusion in Pre-K, got it, & he spent the afternoon (nap, snack, & storytime) with his "normal" peers. He did great, of course, so this year I pushed for more inclusion in the Kindergarden class. I knew this year was going to be the future teller year, if you will. Real classwork, real homework. He's been going to Kindergarden (just started 3rd 9wks) from the time he finishes breakfast until after math immediately following lunch. I arranged it so that all therapies get done in the afternoon when he's back in the PEI class, sure not to disturb him in the "regular" class. At first he seemed to be keeping up & I was getting excited. Then the homework papers started getting a little more difficult, math came along, now reading, & I saw him falling behind at home. I knew he wasn't going to be able to handle regular classes & learning at the regular fast pace. I kept my mouth shut the entire 2nd 9wks hoping something would change. It hasn't. Then his teacher sends a note home that she wants to meet with me. I immediately knew it would be regarding this. So, we're sitting there & she asks, "How do you feel Jailen is doing?" The tears started falling. I know he's not keeping up but I want him too so very bad. We agreed that he needs more time in PEI to work on his IEP goals & less time in a class that's already leaving him behind. We discussed his vision, which needs to be checked again & may call for glasses this time. We also discussed next year. That's what really broke my heart. I wasn't prepared for what came next & have been crying for 2 days because of it. He can't stay in the same school he's been at for 3yrs because they don't have a special education class for students beyond Kindergarden age. Now he has to be uprooted from everyone he knows & has grown to love over the years & be moved to the unknown. People he doesn't know. People I don't know. I'll admit, it's a very scary thought.

Anyway, I know we'll overcome this just like everything else. Life with Jailen has always been full of blessings in disguise. Maybe the next school we send him too will be where he flourishes. Maybe he'll still be able to keep up in a regular class somewhere down the road. Or, maybe special ed is where he's meant to be. Either way,