My son has been quoting Fred (Fred 3: Camp Fred) all week regarding the last day of school. ¨The last day of school is the best day of school.¨
But tonight when I went to turn off his light for bed I found him bawling under the covers, waiting for me to comfort him. He never cries like that unless he has lost computer privileges for a week or more.
He has had the same Special Education teacher for two years. He would have had one more year with her, had I not switched him to a new school that has the best reputation in our area for autistic children. Now, instead of looking forward to seeing her in the fall, he is going to be with people he does not know, in a room he is not familiar with, and he will not be called on to fix all the electronics anymore. They will not have all the same electronics, even.
We have an agreement, that if he does not like his new school after six weeks that I will switch him back. I am going to stick to that.
Why didn’t I give him one more year with her? Because his new school will allow him to attend into middle school, and perhaps by the time he gets to middle school age they will have expanded to all those grades, too. He can go to the same school, with the same people, for years. Smaller classes, focused on the arts and sciences, and insisting on mastery. I don’t think they will be content to pass him along, as so many special education students are.
I really hope he likes it. As much as we both love his special education teacher, and as good as she is for him, I have to try what has worked for so many others. I want to start planning for those years that are often so painful for autistic children. I don’t want all he has learned to be lost in the teen years, due to bullying or being passed. I want his spirit to continue to grow. I don’t want him to cry in the mornings before school, begging me to let him stay home. I want him to be happy.
Nothing makes you second guess your decisions for your children like their tears.
He is learning healthy emotional expression, and having an appropriate and ¨normal¨ reaction. It is a relief to see this sort of emotional intelligence in him. I just wish he did not hurt so much.