I'll be meeting with Sam's team in the very near future to develop the Ed Plan that will be in place for the next three years of his schooling. To say I am anxious would only just begin to describe how I'm feeling about it. I have no doubt that he will continue to qualify for services. That has typically been a worry for me at these meetings but not this go round. This time I am anxious that we get everything right.
Problem is, I don't exactly know what that means. We are entering new territory as he will be heading to middle school next fall. (on a side note...how in God's name is it possible that my baby boy is old enough for middle school?) I don't know how he can manage lockers, and traveling to multiple classes, and carrying books, notebooks, assignments, etc, from room to room to room. I keep telling myself he can do this. The teachers and therapists who work with him have sent other children off to middle school and they know the scaffolding that needs to be in place to make the move a smooth one. I know he is capable. I just need to let my worries go and believe in him. I tell myself this but the worries persist. What if his friend, his one good friend, is not in his house? He'll be so lonely. How do I write into his Ed Plan that he needs to have his friend with him? Transitions are so extremely difficult for Sam. And this is probably one of the biggest transitions of his educational life. New school, new classes, new routines, new team.
Not to mention that this year has not been an easy one for him. He is struggling to stay on top of things and the least little thing causes him to check out. A bad test grade, worrying that it is not okay to be dismissed early from band practice, missing recess because he forgot his homework again. Any of these happens and Sam has to zone out because he can't deal. I talk with his Special Ed teacher at least once a week. I tell myself we are doing all we can and we are. But I get off the phone and I cry. I cry because I can't go to school with him and make sure everything goes the way it should and he's keeping up and staying focused. But that is what I want to do. And I can't. And soon, sooner than seems possible, he will be leaving the safe enclave of Elementary School and going into the combined Middle/High School. While it scares me, I think it terrifies him. I believe part of his difficulty this year has to do with anxiety over what's to come next year. He knows a big change is coming and that worry is simmering in the back of his mind constantly. I think it will be helpful for him to know we are going to make sure a plan is in place to help ease the transition. A meeting with the team could go far in reassuring Sam that we all want him to succeed and we are doing all we can to make sure that happens.
I know there will be bumps, hell...frigging mountains to climb, along the way as he heads into middle and high school. I pray that we're giving him just the right amount of help. Not too much so that he doesn't develop coping skills and mechanisms but not too little so he starts to flounder. It's a very thin line to walk.