Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Crossroad....

Brian & I just got home from Emily's parent-teacher conference. As usual she is doing fantastic grade-wise. This of course fills us with pride, but we feel like we are at a crossroad in her Educational plan. Next year she starts middle school, Like most Middle schools the one Emily will attend is much bigger, has lockers, locker combinations, switching of classes, etc. A process that is difficult for most children but for Emily even more so( she has an even harder time adjusting to change, and she's needed a one on one aide for a various reasons through out her Elementary years but who has made some leaps and bounds over the course of those years.) So we've been debating whether she still needed a one-on-one aide and also whether & when we should let her try it on her own. BUT is now the right time??? The new "case-worker" at the last IEP meeting thought maybe it was, but is it?? This woman doesn't know our child..and educational Emily doesn't need one, but that was NEVER the reason for her having one. Obviously we've been thinking a lot about this..I wonder IF these kids will "label" her (if she has help), it's hard enough to make friends in middle school let alone when you have an aide, AND she is doing really WELL in her school BUT how will she be in this new environment?? We have always been concerned with her safety, she had a lot of balance issues, sensory issues, awareness issues, especially in her earlier years, kindergarten, first, second, third grades. The last two years she has made so much progress.. not the least is she has outgrown the absence seizures she had been having since 1st grade, or for that matter that she has grown a good 6 inches in the past two years... (Emily was always the smallest in her class.. starting out at 14 oz that isn't a big surprise.. but she's grown alot!!) Which has helped her with her balance!! But Emily still has an awareness issue, which can get worse with added stimuli.. especially in a school twice as big & double the children! SOOOOO.. the question remains is it the right time.. Emily's teacher has an opinion that it isn't.. that she should have an aide for atleast the beginning part of the year, and ofcourse our primary concern is Emily's safety soooo we think our decision is to go ahead and keep the aide. I hope that the kids are kinder than we are giving them credit for being.. that they won't label her because Emily is one of the smartest kids they will ever meet & is such a kind and funny kid, who just needs a little more help for a little bit longer! We don't want to throw her to the Middle school "wolves" so to speak. Especially if her teacher thinks she isn't quite ready after all we see her in a totally different environment than she does.. and obviously respect her opinion. BUT is any parent of a special needs kid ready to let them perhaps fall a few times to gain the independence they need to reach.. when will the right time be?? The choice will never be easy.. we love her too much and don't want anything to happen to her.. but everyone at one time needs the chance to try. I think that this just isn't that time yet.

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