If there is one thing I have learned about being a special needs parent. It’s CHANGE. Be prepared for it. No matter how hard you try to avoid it. It’s gonna happen. I went to one elementary school from K-8th grade. I liked it. That’s what I always wanted for my boys, it’s how I grew friendships and established relationships. Having grown up that way, I feel that it is very important. I want my kids to go to high school with their elementary school friends and make new ones along the way. Though, I have come to learn and accept that’s not the reality of our lives. To cater to Noah, we have been through 7 schools and we’re only in 4th grade. I know, you’re right, how could we go through that many schools. Don’t you know how bad that is, not just for your child with ASD but for your neurotypical kiddo as well?? Yes, I do. And you’re absolutely right. I promise it was all with good intentions. We were just trying to make it right for Noah, because we knew Jeremiah could adapt. I’ve learned that having a child on the spectrum or a child with any special needs, that’s just your reality. You need to fight and make it right for them, because in the long run who’s gonna do it for you. That’s why there’s been so much change.
Two weeks ago, Noah started a new school. It was the perfect situation, he was happy. Every day when I picked him up it was all he talked about, he always thanked me every day on the ride home. His behavior sheets, were always pretty good, you know some concerns here and there but nothing major. So in essence, I thought everything was perfect.
Until last Friday, I had just gotten home from drop off and I got a call from the office. They were having some trouble with Noah and asked if I could come pick him up for the day. At that moment I was fine, you know, it happens. As adults, we all have those days where we’re just not having it, so why expect any different from our kiddos? From previous experience this has usually been a quick, “he’s having a bad day” “we’ll try again tomorrow” blah, blah, blah. It’s the typical nice way to say, “we don’t want to deal with your child.” I’m used to that, nothing new here. But, this time it was different. I could feel the intentions behind the administration were not because they didnt want to “deal” with my child, but because they recognized that my child needed more help. Not gonna lie, I held it in for as long as I could (As a matter of fact I’ve been holding it in for years) and I just broke down. Right there. In the middle of our meeting, I couldn’t hold it in anymore.
They told me that he needed more help in the classroom. More one on one focus. At first, it’s frustrating to hear. This was supposed to be the place where I didn’t have to worry about getting those phone calls. They recommended a “sister” school. Technically, they’re not connected in any way, but a lot of the kids that go there transition back to Gateway, and they expressed that they want him back in their school! Which made me super happy, because I loved it there and I know he really did too. The new school is for high functioning kiddos as well, but they have more teachers in the classroom to focus on the children. So, for now, this is his new perfect place.
Change. It’s completely inevitable with raising a kiddo on the spectrum. I have never been grateful for it (because it’s difficult), until last week. Hopefully one day, the boys will understand why we’ve had to deal with it for so many years. This makes school #8 for Noah, luckily, he doesn’t seem to mind it. I am just hoping this will be his home for the next 2 or 3 years, or at least get us to high school and then re visit a new change.