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Adjustments in Special Needs

We’ve recently been trying to figure out what we’ll do with our son for 6th grade. Well, that’s not exactly true, we’ve been thinking about it for about a year. Sixth grade is still month away but with private schools needing to know by April 1ish we needed to start looking in January.

We have a good option for our public school. It’s large though. The director of special ed is a lovely woman who came to our elementary school to meet with us and discuss our son’s IEP/needs. She didn’t see any reason why they couldn’t serve him there. We also visited a private school (to the tune of $22,500/year) that is for students with learning differences. My son had a lot of anxiety over our discussions and it manifested itself in self hatred talk and thoughts of harming himself. It was with 100% certainty that I knew the root of the anxiety.

Anxiety is a tricky thing in our world. With delays, mental health issues and the fine balance of keeping things from exploding at any given time I thought it’d be good for get him over to the middle school to see what it was like. He was  resistant to going to a private school away from kids he’d know but after visiting the large school he’s open to another school choice. When we left the building he said, “No, it’s too confusing.” When I told him one of the schools we are looking at has just 8 kids in the 6th grade he smiled and said, “Yeah, I’d like a small class like that.”

He obviously needed to see it to adjust his thinking he had to go to the school where most of his friends will go. I still think he could but I’m not sure he’d flourish. He’d survive it but not without unique challenges of being different in a school of 400+ 6th graders. We’re still searching and I’m sure we’ll come up with something because we just will.

We’re a resourceful bunch, special needs parents are, aren’t we?

We have a world of adjustments we make from the second we hear of an issue/diagnosis to selecting where we’ll live to making decisions of what to push for and let go of with educators, friends and family. We’re constantly making adjustments. I know when you have kids you know you’ll have adjustments. Add in the special needs factor and it just makes things more complicated.

I am not sure when I realized my life would be about making adjustments about everything…including a style of parenting that isn’t necessarily 2nd nature, maybe a year into learning about the kids recessive polycystic kidney disease. When things are stable and moving along I forget the amount of adjustments we have to make nearly everyday. Adjustments have become so much a part of what I do, it hits me when we have a big adjustment.

Like middle school. Middle School + Special Needs = ADJUSTMENT. In a big way. I’m not ready for it but with special needs we don’t really have time to get ready, do we?

What’s your latest adjustment relating to special needs?

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