Holding Pattern

This is what I wrote on Friday before abandoning it favor of taking Guinness on a nice loooonnng walk in the fresh spring air while listening to a podcast on my ipod:

This week has gone by both fast and slow, if that’s even possible.  It’s Friday already and I don’t know how that happened, but on the other hand there were many, many times this week that I wondered how much longer the day could drag on.  Wondered when the day would end so I could go to bed and start over again tomorrow, with a clean slate and maybe feel as though I accomplished something.  I wasn’t all that productive this week, which may be because my mind is circling around and around the same topics and will not let me rest or concentrate.

I always feel this way when meetings regarding the Roc are looming in the near distance.  I’m still keeping my mouth shut, for now, but we’ve got some stuff lined up.  After a flurry of email exchanges over the course of a couple weeks the silence in my in-box is a bit unnerving, but I know that is in my head.  The silence isn’t ominous.  I’m just waiting.  Waiting to go through the next couple steps, assess the information, and then meet and make some decisions.  The waiting is hard for me.  I feel as though my brain won’t come in for a landing.

All this brain circling is affecting my mothering abilities.  This morning wasn’t the best, I didn’t do my best, and I’m still upset about it.  I went to bed last night unsettled even after I wrote about the division in our community that has got me thinking.  I tossed and turned and woke up feeling sick to my stomach.  The Roc woke up on the wrong side of the bed too.  He began screeching as soon as his feet hit the floor.  We didn’t have a good morning, nothing made him happy, and I pressed my nose against the window and willed the bus to arrive early.  I sighed in relief when I saw those flashing lights, while the Roc screamed that he had to go potty and he didn’t want to get on the bus.  As soon as the bus pulled away I felt guilty and ashamed of how I lost my cool, that he must have felt how desperately I wanted to move on to the next part of my day, the part where he was at school.

I couldn’t write any further that afternoon, still distressed over the way I handled the Roc that morning.  I sat back, looked at the screen, glanced down at the puppy in his crate, and then out the window where the sun was shining and decided I had been too connected to my computer lately. Too much in my own head.  I left the cursor blinking and spent the rest of the afternoon walking.

I ran into one of the ladies in my book club while out walking.  She is a no fuss kind of gal.  I like that.  I’m like that.  We talked a bit and she requested that I bring my copy of “A Friend Like Henry” to our April book club meeting next week (I’m hosting our May meeting, and it’s my pick.)  She said she was really looking forward to reading it and I opened the floodgates on why I choose the book, how I hope to shed some light on the Roc and what our lives are like, that I really hope people read it and want to discuss it, and I hope they have questions because I want to share.  I told her about how I closed myself off for a long time and I’m ready to rejoin the world at large.  It was a nice conversation and I felt that on some level her and I are kindred spirits.  We parted ways and I felt a lifting in my soul.  I think she will “get it.”

When I got home I took a deep breath and called the school’s special education coordinator.  She had left me a message the day before regarding an email I sent her requesting a meeting to discuss school placement for next year.  I have come to the decision that I would like the Roc to repeat kindergarten and have been wondering how hard I would have to fight to get what I desired, what I feel is most appropriate for him.  I figured they would try to push for first grade.  I had started a document listing all the reasons why I think he should repeat and had a list of things my mother had said to me during our conversations on this topic, things that would cut to the heart of the matter.  Things that I might not think of in the pressure of the moment, but would wish I would have said after the fact.  But as soon as the special ed coordinator opened the conversation I realized that maybe I wouldn’t have to fight as hard as I imagined.  Maybe I had been worried without reason, reading too many horror stories online.

Right away she mentioned that she knew of my desire to have him repeat, she had talked to the special education teacher in the room, as well as observed him herself and “even though she doesn’t always agree with retention, in this case she can see where it would be beneficial for him.”  Whew.  I blew out all the air I didn’t even know I had been holding.  I assumed I would have to enter the placement meeting armed with all the reasons why, prepared to duke it out over one more year to learn the basics and grow, only to find out that may not be the case at all.  They may support my request.  Then she mentioned that during the meeting we would have to discuss the full inclusion kindergarten room, and I had to tell her that I was thinking differently again.  I like the setting he is in now, 25 students, 5 identified with some kind of need, 3 full time adults in the room (1 regular ed teacher, 1 special ed teacher, 1 para.)  I feel he is succeeding because there are people available to help him.  I’m not so sure that sticking him in a room with more kids with needs and less people to help them would be the right thing for the Roc.  He needs support, he’s doing well because of it, I don’t feel comfortable taking it away.  As much as I love his current teachers I think he should work with fresh faces next year, and I know there is another classroom like the one he is in at the third early childhood center in our district.  She paused and said that they would take our lead on placement and support.  I felt a weight being lifted off my shoulders.  Could it really be this easy?  I will find out in time.

We have another meeting regarding his classification that will need to be scheduled after a few more steps in that arena are completed.  But for now it seems as if the placement meeting may not be as stressful as I had imagined.  We are tentatively scheduled for the end of May.  I will still be ultra prepared, but I have a feeling it may go smoothly, and I hope it is an indication that the classification meeting will be similar.

My holding pattern has been broken.  It is possible I may be able to let my circling brain rest, for awhile anyway.


10 thoughts on “Holding Pattern

  1. You go girl. You have always stood up for what you feel is right and I know in my heart of hearts that you and GC are going to advocate for what you feel is right for Roc. After reading that book you suggested I feel I am more open minded to the world. Please let me know if you need a sounding board from the “frozen tundra!”.

  2. Yes, time to breathe. You did good. For your son and for you. This coming school year will be a gift to him, one that a lot of our kids don’t often get–a year to grow, stretch his legs, and not worry so much about keeping pace with the harder academics and more structured days of 1st grade. It is a gift I wish I could have given my own son.

  3. “It’s Friday already and I don’t know how that happened, but on the other hand there were many, many times this week that I wondered how much longer the day could drag on. ”


  4. Glad you are getting cooperation about school. So much weighs heavily on our minds. We are gonna have a bad morning every now and again. Ask me how I know.

    And yes, we have enough to worry about without fighting other autism parents. I gave up the political soapbox a couple of years ago and have not looked back. Not enough of me to go around for that, though for some it is fuel, and I don’t hold it against them. Anger and fighting beats hopelessness and despair. We’re all doing what we feel is right. We all love our kids. And we all need a break sometimes.

  5. Trying to offer a little ‘brain rest’ from this:
    “he must have felt how desperately I wanted to move on to the next part of my day, the part where he was at school.”

    At some point it is good for a child to realize that Mommy likes time without him. That realization is a single point in a long line of psychological maturation, many of the points which require a morning without flowers and butterflies but the reality of human frailty.

    When to say to one’s child – I love you but I also want you to learn to not be dependent on me – each parent must decide. Helps if the parent believes it is good, too.

    How was when he come home from school? Not asking for me to know the answer.

  6. So glad to hear that things seem to be smoothing out.
    If you want to talk more about schools / programs in our neck of the woods, I’m here.

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