Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The School Saga Continues.......

So have you been wondering what we will be doing with Jacob next year? Is it keeping you up at night? If so, I have an answer for you, sort of.

As you know it is February, late February, when the deadline for renrollment approaches. We need to let the school know by next Wednesday if we are claiming our spot or else lose it to the next kid in line.

I think I mentioned a few weeks ago that I spent a morning observing Jacob in the classroom. I wanted to see just what was going on there that would shout retention to the teacher. Academically, he did really well. I have no problem saying he was the smartest one in the class, at least where reading and phonics skills were concerned. He did, however, have trouble focusing and frequently zoned out in a I-wonder-what's-going-on-outside kind of way. Oh, and he blew kisses and waved at me a lot and, although it made my heart melt, just wasn't appropriate.

So the teacher and I had a lengthy discussion afterward where she still recommended the transitional first grade because in her mind, and apparently all the other teachers in the school that she has discussed this with, his social skills just aren't developed enough to move on to regular first grade, then she dropped the bomb......."Have you ever heard of Aspergers Syndrome?" That's when my ears stopped functioning. Yes, I have heard of it plenty. I do have a degree in special education after all, but spoken in the same sentence as my child, never. It was hard to hear. So, of course I came home and googled and ran to the library to peruse all they had to offer on the subject and came to the conclusion that, yeah, he could have that, but at the same time, yeah, I could have that too. So, the dad and I met yesterday with a developmental psychologist (or something like that). We gave her Jacob's history and her baseline asssessment (without having met him, mind you) is that she believes he will diagnose with ADHD and anxiety, which bingo!, is exactly what the other nice lady told us three years ago. So, once we get the okay from the insurance company, Jacob will be evaluated for ADD, Aspergers, and a variety of mental illnesses. I am glad to be moving forward with this and being told that, hey, maybe my kid has an actual problem so ha, ha, ha, all of you who just thought we were bad parents, it isn't us after all! At the same time, I am so afraid of what they will find. I can't even think of my kid being diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. What will that mean for his future? How will the schools and other kids treat him? It's too much for me to fathom at this point, so I'll just wait and hope that won't be his diagnosis for now.

So that leaves us with school.........the psychologist said that retaining him or enrolling him in the transitional first grade would not be a good move for him. He needs challenges academically and he would get no better socialization skills from being left behind. After his evaluations are completed, she will write a letter to the school explaining this, so he will go to regular first grade with the rest of his class at the private school in the fall (well, summer since school starts in early August now). That is unless the school puts up a big fight or my husband decides to buy me that big, expensive home on the north side of town and we have to move.

So that's it in a long nutshell......stay tuned for more, I am sure it is to get more interesting.


Shane said...

Bless his little heart! You are beginning a long journey, but it there is a very bright light at the end of the tunnel. In my personal experience with my's hard to hear the initial diagnosis (ADHD & LD's) but once you know what the "problem" is you can treat it and move on. It just becomes a normal part of every day life. I was just relieved to find out why he was acting the way he was and even more relieved to know it could be treated! Hang in there. Little Jacob already has an extremely informed and well prepared advocate in his All those years of education will benefit him greatly in this area.

Tracey said...

Ditto to the above. Justin is like night and day now compared to before he started Strattera. He's still on a really low dose, and it's working for him. He's still his same weird, funny, obstinate, obnoxious, brilliant, inquisitive, obstinate (did I say that already?) self. But he's able to pay attention when he's told to do his work. Or put on his shoes. Or ANYthing. Whether or not he chooses to do so, is a different story! :) Oh, and I sooooo want to rub this in the face of his teacher from last year who just thought he was a troublemaker!!

Lynsey said...

Wow...I really wish the best for your little Jacob! At least he's got such a great Mom who's staying on top of his needs!! I will say a prayer in hopes of everything turning out okay for you all.

OneHungMan said...

OneHung hates these so-called experts, as well as the bureaucratic BS one has to go through to get anything accomplished.

YoungHung is meeting tomorrow for his third different evaluation for speech therapy. It's not real hard, if these people would ever listen to the parents for one conversation, a lot of problems could be solved early on. Evidently listening is the one thing that's no longer taught in medical school.

Dana said...

Andria, while it IS hard to hear a formal diagnosis in the same sentence as your child's name, it can be such a relief to actually have a starting point! Good luck to you. I hope you get a very knowledgeable, and thorough doctor who highly values a parents thoughts and input.

Lynanne said...

I really feel for you. I have two sons diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (one Aspergers and one high-functioning). You mentioned that your son was one of the brightest in the class. You might want to look up the characteristics of gifted children. Many gifted children are misdiagnosed. Or, worse yet, the diagnosis of giftedness is missed in a child with ADHD/Aspergers/etc. (otherwise known as "twice exceptional")

I can only echo the other comments. All the best to you and your son. If you need an friendly ear (or would that be eye?) feel free to email me.
(lynanne (at) gmail(dot)com)