Monday, August 25, 2008

UPDATED Thoughts on the First Day of School

The alarm went off at 5:45 a.m. D., of course, had already been awake for quite some time; I vaguely remembered hearing him talk to my mother-in-law. It was pitch back outside. Mr. WG agreed to shower first, thank God.

By 6:10, I was showered and dressed and came out for coffee. D. was sitting and eating yogurt, blissfully unaware of what was about to happen. He finished breakfast, and we got him dressed and ready, mentioning "yellow bus" and "new school" approximately every 15 seconds.

At 6:37, the bus pulled up outside, and Mr. WG loaded D. on and got him buckled. We raced to our car and followed the bus as it picked up one more child, and we were on our way to school.

I got a very sweet text message from a friend who saw the bus in the neighborhood and wished us good luck.

D. got off the bus fine, and we walked into the building with him.

It was chaos. No one seemed to know what was going on, and there were so many people. I tried to keep breathing.

After about 15 minutes, the speech therapist happened by and asked us if we wanted to take D. to the cafeteria for breakfast with the other students. We did that, but the chaos was even more pronounced there, punctuated by crying children wandering aimlessly without their parents.

Finally, the temporary teacher -- they have found a new teacher who has to be trained and will start within the next two weeks -- came and took D. and his two bus friends back to the cafeteria, sat with them at a table, got them their breakfast, and took them through eating it. She helped D. clear his tray, and then they all went to class. The non-bus kids were already in the classroom. The teacher, who is really the multiple impairment (MI) teacher, was pulled out to meet the parents of her real students, the ones to whom she will return in two weeks, and the speech therapist came in to run the class for a few moment.

The speech therapist speaks Spanish as his mother tongue. "Hello," he said warmly to the students. "I am Mr. D. I am your speech terapist." That's not a typo, people, he doesn't pronounce th. There's a joke there somewhere, I'm sure.

He started by inviting each child to come up and say "Hello, my name is…" to the class. D. refused, but at least he did so verbally. "No," he said the first time he was asked. When pressed, he told the teacher, "Stop it. Go away."

The temporary teacher came back in, and we figured we'd leave. D. of course strenuously objected to this plan, and when we left, he was sobbing. I was pretty close to sobbing myself, because the chaos just left me feeling like we had just left our son in the care of people who could not POSSIBLY take care of him.

I will speak to the teacher today during her planning period at 1:15, and I know you will all be pulling for D. as hard as I am, so maybe our combined good wishes will somehow reach him, and this will not traumatize him permanently.

It's 9:30 now, so I've been up almost four hours. So, basically, it's lunchtime, and I could have a classy lunch, with a glass of wine, right?

Cheers.

UPDATE: I spoke with the teacher. D. cried for 30 minutes, and he threw himself into it with great gusto. But after that, he calmed down and has been having a good day. The teacher reported that he ate his entire lunch. Shocker, I know. On a not-so-great note, the teacher told me that all the staff was commenting on D's size. Um, yeah, he has an OVERGROWTH syndrome. Did anyone READ HIS FILE? Sigh....But! bright side! He is not crying now! Hooray!

4 comments:

Shosh said...

How is it that the world is filled with so many completely incomepetent people?? They didn't even read his file??? Good luck, the start of school is always hard - hoping that it gets better for you very soon!

ella said...

Sounds like it was stressful...but it also sounds like D. pulled through like a champ. Go D! Sending you support and encouragement through the ether, WG.

Lisa b said...

oh WG it is worst for the mothers. It sounds like D pulled through and that things are going to get better.

I do love pointing out the OVERGROWTH disorder thing to our medical professionals who keep commenting on how big Julia is.
speaking of the SSSA I just got the Sotos growth chart email me if you want a copy.
L

Natasha said...

My son has sotos syndrome as well. He's 18mo old, and I am terrified. He's starting school tomorrow in an toddler early "intervention" program. I met the other students and parents. I feel like this is going to be so hard for him. He's WAY behind the other children, who are all walking and using a few words. That visit just discouraged me, but I know it's for the best. I understand the stress of all the chaos. I feel like you do... THERE IS NO WAY THEY COULD POSSIBLY TAKE CARE OF HIM. Thank goodness it's only 2 1/2 hrs twice a week, otherwise I'd seriously be a wreck. I hope that things get better with school and your son. Thank you so much for venting online. So many of our "loved ones" don't understand what we go through AT ALL. It's a royal pain in the butt. I'm so happy to know that someone understands what I'm going through, because I always feel so alone. Good luck, and I hope that the teachers gain the minimal competency that it takes to review your son's file, so that they refrain from making comments about his size.