When I put Jordan in the DL school we are in now, I chose it because it had classes that we could choose to attend, when it fit our lives to do so. It's an amazing place, I love that it exists!
I realized last night that though I moved to a different school setting, I hadn't let some of my old beliefs about school go, and was automatically assuming we'd get "our" social time through school.. just like we'd hoped to do before.
I decided I wanted us to go to all the classes we could. The first year, he was in the K-2 program which was mostly centers.. and kindergarten type atmosphere (which I loved, as he did) We didnt always attend, if behaviours were awesome then we'd go, if not we'd go spend hours in the park.
Next year, the learning curve went up a bit, and was still okay. Half way thru the year, we were talking about getting an SEA (Special education teacher) for Jordan, she'd help him thru the classes. She came, then we had a IEP, (lndividual Education Plan) and we put effort into attending all the classes. It was becoming oddly like public school. Overall, it has worked, though a lot of the time, I wonder if everyone involved thinks so.
Jordan met a friend in K-2.. Jake. They became buds. We both became buds with their whole awesome family. <3 They hung out in grade 3 as well, Jake is a pretty unique and amazing kid, he really helped Jordan be accepted with the other kids. Jake knew to let Jordan take a minute to have an answer.. Jake knew to get his attention nicely, Jake knows Jordan is cool too.....
All of a sudden, we're going into grade 4, and I find out Jake won't be there! He is going to public school. Last night, Wow! I saw it on FB and I knew like a punch to the gut it meant change for Jordan and I.
As I try to remember.. all change is change, and change is loss, and good or bad.. we may grieve over it. So, I must admit I swore a bit at the fates, how, why... would they do this to Me/Jordan when all is going so... "well... ish...".
As mentioned, I have now realized that I had assumed we'd find our social world thru the center. But, it doesn't have to be that way!
Going there stresses him out, the sitting and the listening and the noise is of much shorter duration but it's still difficult for him. Why would this be the best place to try to be friendly? Do I go to Metrotown and make friends? Metrotown, makes my skin crawl.. my breathing is labored, my anxiety level is high, I just want out.. I don't think I'd do well if I had to pull out the best social skills I possess. The kids there, are not seeing the kid that Jordan can be when he's calm and relaxed and having fun, walking thru the park, chasing crows, laughing and saving the planet!
No wonder it's only been wonderful Jake. His fantastic mom and I met and got us all together outside of class early on. Jake knows Jordan is not ONLY the kid who has to leave over and over in class to calm down. (We will continue to see Jake and family, and I'm so happy cuz they do truly rock.. whichever school he's at Jake is going to do great!)
There is another option. Self Design. If I homeschool thru their program, I would not be able to offer classes at a school setting to Jordan, but I could access $16,000 per year, for academic/physical/social groups/classes/lessons...
Now I think Jake might have done us a big favour! Without the school classes to stress Jordan, perhaps he'd be much more able to be social? And utilizing the money from Self Design I could have him in weekly social groups.. from which we'd very likely, meet similar familes and possibly form some more great relationships....Thru that and our everyday out in the world activities I think we'd have a good balance of social time in the world and the quiet/at home/alone time he needs to process his day..
I am going to process all this. Seems there is a lot of change in the wind... or should I say the River?