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CSE on April Fool’s Day…Are You Kidding Me?! April 2, 2009

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, Children, Parenting, special needs.
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When your annual meeting with the school district ..the one you lose sleep over for days…is scheduled on April Fool’s Day, it can’t be a good sign, right?

For the first time ever, we went into this meeting unsure of how it’d turn out. All of our past meetings were mere formalities of sign here, initial there…where we knew going in exactly what the district wanted and what we wanted and we were in agreement. Today was different.

I am generally  happy with the school district and they have been generous in the past with services for Fabio. We have a nice relationship and I try to pay it forward by volunteering as a parent member for other kids’ CSE meetings when I can. Still in these economic times, districts are looking to cut costs. So I was worried.

I was in a tough spot. Fabio is doing great as a first grader in his 8:1:2 class, which includes first and second graders (and one third grader).  The district wants to open up an extra class of 8, for the more advanced kids…but it’d be in a different elementary school…and they want him there academically so he’d stay with the kids he’s been doing group work with all year.

My gut…which is generally spot on when it comes to knowing the best thing for Fabio…says to keep him in whatever remains of the original class that he’s in now, just as a second grader.

If I do that, I may hurt him academically since there may not be high enough functioning kids left there (or moving up from the kindergarten version) to work as a small group. But if I move him to a whole new building with all new people who have never had a class like this in their school, Fabio will shut down. I know it. He can not transition like that. He is so aware and attached to all of the adults in the school he’s spent 2 years in. And the teachers and kids in this school have embraced our children in a way that should be televised all over the world as an example of autism awareness and acceptance.

Fabio is sucessfully mainstreaming slowly in this warm and nuturing environment and I’d like that all to continue just as it has been. Ideally, they should just add that third section to the same school so the kids won’t have to worry about transitioning and could stay there until 5th grade just like typical kids get to stay in one school. Is it me, or is that a no-brainer when it comes to our kids and their absolutely ridiculous need for routine?!

At this point, we are in agreement on the 8:1:2 being the proper placement. I’ve made my wishes known as to which class I want him to be in, but the assigning kids to sections has yet to be decided. It’s still possible that there will only be one section in the school I love and that they won’t need the other section until maybe next year. So we are in a bit of limbo. 

Did I mention I freakin hate April?

Anyone have an opinion on which of your child’s competing needs you’d give priority to in this situation: academic vs. emotional? I am open to suggestions.

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Comments»

1. HeatherPride - April 10, 2009

Oh my goodness, for me it would be the emotional choice. My oldest is such a sensitive kid. I know that if he was stressed out he wouldn’t learn anyway. Good luck, whatever happens.


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