Friday, June 29, 2007

Day Camp Diaries, Week One

We decided to put all four kids in day camp this summer - it's run by the Day School that at least three of my kids are attending this coming year. We figured - and by we, I mean, I figured - that it would ease the three younger ones into the new school routine make my life WAY easier.

The girls go for a full day, till 4 p.m. The boys get picked up at 2 p.m., except that D. leaves early twice a week for therapy.

Sunday was registration. We arrived and the director, who is also the director of the early childhood program at the Day School, told me, "I have to tell you, I spoke to D's counselor, and she was very worried."


"Well, unfortunately, when people at Other Schools are family members and they say things about problem kids and difficulties and special needs, well, you know."

To my credit, I did not break down crying and go home, although I REALLY wanted to for a minute there. I took a few seconds to process what she was saying - which was basically that the teacher’s daughter, who taught at the school D. previously attended, filled her mother’s head with crap about my kid. Great.

I went to talk to the teacher and I could see the sheer terror in her eyes. I kid you not. I stumbled through the conversation and went back to find the director. “Just so you know, she’s still terrified,” I said.

My super-amazing friend M. listened sympathetically as always and promised to put in a good word for D.

I got in the car and told Mr. WG everything.

M., because she is a super-amazing friend, called later to tell me that she had walked in on the director and the teacher having a discussion, and she put in her two cents, and they decided to assign D. a junior-high counselor as a shadow of sorts, and everything would be fine. Not to worry.

Monday morning, I drove the kids to camp. I spent a few minutes with D. in his classroom, then told the teacher I would be in the office. I left, to the sweet sound of my child screaming as though his beating heart was being ripped from his body while his eyes were gouged with ice picks. I collapsed on a sofa in the office and was disappointed to discover that the school had not planned well – there were no cocktails available.

Time passed. Random people popped in to tell me they had checked on Baby J. and “He’s doing great!”

“That’s nice,” I said. “I’m not worried about Baby J.” The director came into the office and inquired if I wanted to return to D’s class to try to calm him down. I declined, but suggested they get Z. from her class. She went, and that helped a lot, and immediately. She stayed there for a bit, and then she left, whereupon D. cried again, but not as much as before. And a bit later, he settled in, and I left. And he did OK.

Tuesday, my friend ADHD Mom drove the kids to camp. Z. walked D. to his classroom, and he had a hard time separating from her. ADHD Mom told me that the next morning, she would walk D. into class.

Mr. WG picked D. up for speech and DBB on Tuesday, and D. didn’t even want to leave. That’s a good sign, right?

Wednesday morning, D. walked into class just fine, no crying. He asked for me once about 40 minutes before carpool, but he was fine all day. One of the junior counselors told me that they were actually going to transfer D’s special shadow to a different class.

“Is that because D. is doing so well?” I asked.

“No, it’s because [the counselor] doesn’t do anything.”

OK, then.

Thursday was also good, and I picked D. up early for speech.

And today he was great all day, and I was even a bit late to pick him up and he was still in a great mood.

So. Week One has passed, and we all survived.


Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

Yay, you for making it through the week. Funny, because my son is autistic, he is always characterized as rigid and inflexible, but really he's no more rigid than some of the schools and teachers we've had to deal with -- just rigid about different things. ;) It can be for schools and teachers to handle something new that is outside of their own routines.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! :)

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