Thursday, August 16, 2012

Back to School

School started today. Like everyone else, we went on a wild goose chase for school supplies: washable markers for Pink P but not for Sky. Eight-pack of crayons for Pink P instead of the standard (and much cheaper) 24. Four reams of copy paper and three containers of disinfectant wipes between the two of them.

Normally, I forget to start early and find myself desperately buying, and then sharpening, ten number 2 lead pencils in the wee hours of the morning the day school starts. But not this year. This year, in anticipation of Ren's back surgery, I got everything early. So early, in fact, I forgot that I'd gotten it. Then, I inadvertently bought everything again. Apparently, I have an uncanny ability to remember everything on both supply lists and no ability to remember I bought the stuff already. There's nothing I love more than another trip to the store just to return stuff I bought twice. Really.

When we roll into Sky's classroom for the first time, we come with a little more baggage (and a few extra supplies) than the other kids. Each year our list of "extra" supplies grows as we become more adept at figuring out Sky's sensory issues. Here is some of the gear he'll be using at school this year:

(Drat! That's supposed to say "The Frugal Mom's Guide to a Weighted Vest," but PSE won't let me fix it. And I don't have time to start over! Sigh.)

Sky and I always meet with his new teacher a few days early. This gives us a chance to drop off (and explain) our Sky gear. It also gives him a chance to quell his anxieties about the first day and me a chance to give his new teacher a crash-course on life with Sky. I used to try to be more "hands-off" and less "helicopter-y." I'd love for his teachers to organically come to understand how Sky ticks, but frankly, that takes too long. So this year I went "all in" the first chance I got. I was unmistakably clear with his teacher about about what she's up against.

He will become overstimulated.
He won't always hear you.
He will interrupt.
He won't respond well to frustration.
Part way through the semester, he will regress, and when he does, you will feel like everything you tried up to that point was useless.
It wasn't.
You know, two steps forward, one and a half steps back.

Welcome to my world. I hope you enjoy the ride.

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