July 21, 2011

New School

Moe started his new school this week. I suppose it is like summer camp, since he'll be returning to his regular school in four and a half weeks. Yes, I'm counting.

I was so nervous for the change. Sunday night Jeff asked what I was afraid of, "that he would get hit by a car?" Frankly, yes, that was one of my concerns. Moe is a runner, and no matter how many times you tell someone "he will take off, he needs a hand always," no one ever seems to get it right away. In fact, that first day as they were showing us where to put Moe's backpack, he darted off to explore the main office, which is connected to his classroom. I think they get it now.

I also wanted to know that Moe would be happy and that he would have fun. Would he like the snack they gave him? Would he know the songs? Would he be confused and frustrated having to learn a new system? It is hard to trust your little boy's care into the hands of people you don't know, no matter how kind or capable they may be.

I also really want him to make some progress. This is a private (read: not cheap) placement, associated with an autism center. It is also an inclusive program, meaning there may be typical kids in his class. Even though he'll only be there 5 weeks, their approach is slightly different from that of the school district program and I'm interested to see how he responds.

This class is only a three hours in the morning, compared to his regular six hour, full day program, so he is still getting a bit of a summer break. I am too since the class starts later in the morning, they provide a snack and I don't have to pack lunch. The downside is that afternoons are longer for me.

After three days, he appears to be doing well and participating in the activities. He seems to like the classroom, and they are willing to work with Moe on whatever skills or behaviors we want. I'm proud of how quickly Moe seems to be adapting, and perhaps even generalizing some of the skills he's learned in his regular school to this one. I was also happy to see a familiar face in the class, a little boy who will be in Moe's class in the fall.

Moe is exhibiting some behaviors at the new school we only see from him when he's in new or overwhelming environments, like looking up at the lights. When they reported this behavior two years ago at his first placement, I was so worried. Now I know that that is just his way of coping. I guess I've progressed a little bit too.

Written as part of Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. Today was the letter N.

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