Monday, July 22, 2013

Preparing for middle school

I mentioned in one of my last Autism Understanding and Acceptance posts that Thomas' hours for ABA were reduced by Anthem.  With the help of some contacts, we were able to get his full time hours extended to mid-August, instead of the reduction starting July 1st (insuance cut his hours so he could get services from JULY).  Rob and I decided not to fight the reduction in hours with this new start date, and to give middle school a try.

This equally terrifies and excites me.  He will be at his home middle school for most of the day, from 9am to 2:36pm.  Not 2:35.  He will then go to BACA Prep from 3:00pm to 5:30pm, which will not give him the 20 hours of ABA for which he is approved, but will allow us to have dinner together as a family at a reasonable time.  We just couldn't see keeping him at BACA until 6:30pm.  That would be such a long day, and then we aren't eating until at least 7:30, which doesn't work for us - it's just all too late.

It's all a big experiment.  We are thrilled with his teacher for next year, and truly feel that he is in the best possible situation with this school.  We had a very positive and easy Case Conference in May. And I remind myself daily that it is not going to be perfect , that I can't keep him safe and protected from teasing and harm and hurt feelings for his entire life (wait, can't I?), and that I need to give him opportunities to rise to the occasion and spread his wings.

Oh, this is hard.

On a lighter note, there are other considerations to be made when preparing for middle school.  It is time to retire the adorable Gymboree underwear.  It's going to be enough of a challenge for him in the bathroom because he hasn't quite gotten the swing of NOT dropping his pants to the ground when using the urinal.  We're working on this important life skill quickly.  But we also just tossed the Gymboree undies with turtles, dinosaurs, baseballs, etc and switched them out for Fruit of the Loom briefs in dark solid colors or stripes.  Very cool and certainly not baby-ish.

I figure that he's going to get teased for something, so why invite it with something so glaring as cutie-patootie undie-pants?

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