Friday, February 10, 2012

I Feel Guilty

I feel guilty. I really do. And yet i feel justified. I took Acroboy to music time and sat back and watched him act at his worst. I watched him be hyperactive, get in other people's spaces, and not pay attention, and I did nothing. Not a thing, nada, zip, diddly squat.

I did this because I wanted the school employees to see just how much help Acroboy needs. I just want to get him into a preschool setting where he can start working more on some social skills.

One of the other moms commented to me as we were leaving, "Boy, he sure has a lot of energy, doesn't he?"

Yep, I feel guilty.

I explained to her that I had purposely sat back because I wanted them to see how much help he'll need adjusting to kindergarten.

I think I was a little ticked off too, because I got a note in the mail saying there was no record of us ever applying for Acroboy to be in preschool. Umm, right. That would be why we got the letter saying Acroboy was on the wait list. Okay.

Now I have to straighten out this mess.

In addition, Firstborn's grades have been slipping lower and lower in math and science. He gets the concepts, but his anxieties are popping up again. He stresses out over quizzes and test and his mind goes blank for a few minutes. He then realizes how much time has passed and freaks out more. In his mind the missing time means he'll fail the quiz/test. If he fails the quiz/test, he will fail the class. If he fails the class, there is no way he can get into a good school. If he can't get into a good school, there is no way he can provide for his family. It goes on and on.

When I first started talking to the counselor, her first reaction was, "If his grades are slipping, maybe he shouldn't be in honors classes." Hold it right there sister. He gets the information, it's the tests, quizzes and organization problems that are the problem. All you have to do is talk with him and know he gets it. So do that--talk with my kid.

He had a decent handle on his anxieties thanks to the work with the school counselor and school psychologist and amazing teachers we had up to fourth grade before we moved here. Firstborn used to cry every time things did not go as he expected or when he would get himself working into an anxiety spiral. We had a number of student support meetings regarding how to help him. It was because of my friend's comment about Firstborn's behavior we talked to the school and started his diagnosis process. However it was not on an official 504. I've written a separate post on Firstborn's journey to diagnosis.

If I am really honest with myself, i think part of the reason the anxieties weren't as pronounced the last couple of years is I don't think Firstborn has felt quite as challenged at the schools here. Now that he is finally starting to get more challenged by new material and he is getting closer to high school, his anxieties have been creeping back in.

I had asked for copies of the school records before we moved, but I was told they would just forward everything to the new school. I took them at their word--everything would be forwarded. I should have been more adamant.

I went to the junior high to get copies of their current records and while I was looking at them with the counselor, we saw that there are absolutely no notes about any student support meetings, teacher's notes on behavior, counselor notes, or anything other than standardized test scores and grades. Either the notes never made it into the file, or somewhere between the move they got lost.

So there is no record of any supports or diagnosis for Firstborn. I think I have to take responsibility. I did not understand what would be at stake if I didn't put a "label" on my son. I thought I was helping him.

I was wrong and I feel guilty about it.

Now I've got to call our favorite Autism medical center and get Firstborn in the wait list to be reevaluated. I'm going to go about this the correct way so we can get him just a few accommodations so he can deal with his anxiety. He'll be starting high school next year, and the pressure will be on. I need to do everything I can to help him succeed.

I resolve to not let any guilt I feel hold me back. From now on I will be the warrior mom my kids need me to be.

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