Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fear and Trembling

Five days until school starts for Sky again. No matter how hard I try, I just can't seem to shake the sense of fear and trembling that sets in when I think about the upcoming school year. There is so much that I can't predict about what will happen this year, and it worries me. It also reminds me of what school must feel like for Sky. He doesn't like it because he is never sure his senses won't overpower him and cause him to fall apart. He knows what that looks like once it happens, and he knows the headache the aftermath can be. But he hasn't quite figured out how to be preventative, and the lack of control scares him. So I remind myself that whatever anxiety I am feeling is probably nothing compared to what he's feeling.

I know it won't be the same for Pink P. She remembers the names of her friends and understands when the other kids are being mean or trying to get her into trouble. She knows the rules and can follow them without a million other pieces of sensory input getting in the way. When her teachers tell her what to do, language processing issues don't make the instructions impossible to follow. School is never confusing, and she never has to worry about whether the teachers like her. When I take Pink P and drop her off for the day, no knots form in my stomach, and I can be pretty sure no one will be calling from school.

We've done everything we can to set Sky up for success this year. We've been hitting speech and occupational therapy hard all summer, and Sky's been in a boy's social skills group where he's practiced group work, self-control, and leadership. He will go to the same school and have many of the same friends in his class. The principal and I are in close contact--let's just say she's pretty familiar with Sky's various challenges and ready to intervene whenever necessary. And today, we met with his teacher so Sky could get a sense of her, the classroom, and what to expect (and also so she could begin to be initiated into the odyssey of "Sky at school"). I was thrilled to learn she's had spectrum kids in class before and is familiar with weighted vests, velcro strips under the desk, and the benefits of rocking chairs. She even knows what therapeutic listening is!

So here's to back to school--not for the faint of heart, but hopefully not a total nightmare.

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