A sassy, crafty mama bird from Los Angeles
raising a very sweet little girl with Autism
and a new baby boy in the Midwest... and other stuff, too.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

School Doesn't Suck Anymore

Here's a pretty overdue update on the school situation (formerly known as the school sucks saga). Little Bird has been in the ASD classroom for 5 full weeks now and ohmygod I can't even believe how much she's thriving. She's happy and seems very comfortable there. In the first couple of weeks, both her new teacher and the new speech therapist informed me that we'd need to meet to establish new goals because she'd already been able to demonstrate her ability to accomplish the ones previously set. Yes! I always knew she could perform these tasks set up for her, but she wasn't doing them in the old placement. That was one of the biggest reasons I knew she was in the wrong place- she wasn't able to do the things I knew she could do; she wasn't able to be herself.

I have written before about feeling like she wasn't wanted in the classroom and feeling like I was going to throw up every time I drove to the school to pick her up. I don't have those feelings anymore. I DON'T HAVE THOSE FEELINGS ANYMORE!!!! Amazing. 

In fact, just this week I asked her teacher if she felt like this was a good fit and without missing a beat, she said, "Yes! I love having {bird} in my class!" How fabulous. There are 6 kids in the class, one teacher and two paras. Bird spends a lot of time in the general ed class doing the calendar and talking about the daily schedule, as well as reading and science. She also goes to a gym, art, and music class with them. Of course, the big difference is that in the ASD program, kids mainstream with support and the Mild CI kids went on their own (because they could). Since Bird couldn't mainstream alone, it was a huge barrier to her success in that environment. Now, it's alllllll happening!!!

Yes, there have been a few accidents at school. Yes, she gets overwhelmed and shy when typically developing peers call her name and say hi. Yes, she's had to leave the general ed setting a time or two for not being able to sit and pay attention, following rules. Still, she feels way more comfortable in her skin than she did before. She likes going to school and she likes the other kids in her class. She likes the therapists and the teachers. She can tell that I feel so much better, too. This is a WIN all around. 

Now, obviously the school year is almost over. But, she'll remain in this program and in this classroom next year. The groundwork is laid and she's comfortable in this building and in this setting. So, I'm really hoping that next year will be an awesome year for her. Of course I'll just obsess over that all summer long....

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