Today I had a meeting with the present SERT (special education resource teacher) and new SERT for the new school Lincoln is being transferred to based on boundary changes for next year and I was very pleased to sit down and hear all the really wonderful progress my son has made this year.
Academically, he is only behind in his handwriting, and only a grade. He is at a grade 3 entry reading level mid way through grade 2 and is keeping pace with the class with all other subjects!!
I know most parents wouldn’t be WOWed with this but there was a very different picture at this time last year and I’m almost embarrassed to say the expectation we had was also below his accomplishment to date.
My boy is really coming into his own and I must thank the wonderful staff at Athabsca PS and the phenomenal staff that work painstakingly to help him reach this goal and then exceed it.
I remember sitting several years ago in the tiny primary chairs of JK and breaking inside as I asked silently if my son would be able to cope in a room with his peers day in and day out. Would he ever sit and write out a story or would he always be more interested in how it feels to sift through the container of crayons while everyone else worked studiously around him. I remember telling his teachers NOT to let him off easy and to push just a little harder, because he needed the strict rules and he COULD do it. It took so much intuition to know when to push, when to back down and when to completely cease…A mother can gauge this in her child but a great teacher and assistant can too, and did. And does, time and again.
Today I sat and cried with the woman who truly has made magic happen with my child. I watched as she struggled with the knowledge she would have to let go in order to let him spread him wings and I saw her heart break just a little knowing she would not be able to spend time with him the same. She is so much more than an E/A, she is a guardian angel that keeps my little one safe and nurtures him with patience and care, shows him the way and helps him make connections to learn and grow and mature into the lovely boy he is today. She truly is his best friend.
I struggle so often with the hard choice I have to make this year, do I leave Lincoln in his present schools exemplary care just a little longer so that he can mature a little more and continue to thrive as he has OR do I transfer him with his friends and brothers to a new school in order to ensure he stays with the pupils that truly accept him as he is, and love him for it? Either choice is laced with pro’s and con’s and there are so many variables that I won’t know if I made the right choice till it is far too late to renege.
Just as I settled into a sense of peace with Autism the game changes again, just as life often does 🙂
One thing I do know is that Lincoln has truly become a wonderful kid and he has multiple facades of his personality that shine so brightly on everyone he crosses paths with. I am beyond thankful to the people who helped him find his way and shaped his heart and soul with their love.
I can only hope he is as proud of his accomplishments as I am.
Tonight, in such a fitting coincidence, he asked “mom? where do I earn a diploma?”
“In school Lincoln”
“in MY school?”
“Yes. IN grade 8”
“I can’t wait! I’m going to get a diploma!!” he chirps happily.