Last week we had an IEP meeting for the third time this year to address Squeaker’s increasingly destructive behavior at school. Although I had hoped to keep him in regular classes as much as possible this year, whatever has happened to set him off, he just never got over. And the truth is, they just did not have the resources or the appropriate strategies to help him be successful. And so, here we are…starting over again. And that’s okay.
5 Ways Starting Over Again Will Save My Son
- He needed more support. The fact that the support he needed did not exist at this school aggravates me, but I know that this is how things are in this area. Well, probably everywhere. Unfortunately, when your child needs more support to make academic gains, that often means going somewhere else for it. I understand all too well how frustrated he must have been when he needed help and didn’t have it because of class sizes in the regular classroom.
- My original school choice is where he is going now. When we first changed school districts and I got my new job, I had researched the schools near mine and decided quickly which one I wanted him to go to based on community ratings and publicized test scores. Regrettably, they told me that school did not have space for another 3rd grader. As it happens, he is now able to go to that school since they have the EC support that he needs. To me, that makes starting over again a win.
- I only liked one of his EC teachers. That’s right. He had two EC teachers, a regular teacher, his elective classes, and OT and Speech services. Not only is that too many transitions for a child that needed accommodations to help with transitions, but the EC teacher that he bonded with more readily was only there for half the day, leaving him with getting resource support from another EC teacher in the afternoon. This is a lady who told me on day one that, despite the fact that having a behavior chart with smiles to indicate good behavior worked for him in the past, they were not going to do that there. In her words, “We’re in third grade now. We don’t need smiley faces.” His new EC teacher has many great strategies, and doesn’t mind meeting him where he’s at developmentally in order to help him.
- My child’s happiness was at stake. Squeaker was so unhappy at that school that he told me he hated school almost daily. It hurt my heart to hear those words because he has always liked going to school. I don’t know what happened to change his feelings about school this year, but if starting over again at a new school can change his feelings about going to school, it’s well worth it. Just like anyone else, he wants to be happy, and I want that for him.
- In the words of Sheryl Crow, “A Change Would Do [Him] Good.” In the end, most of the reason I agreed with moving him to another school was that he was stuck in a very negative pattern at the school he started the year with. He would start off wanting to have a good day, have a rough day, feel bad, talk about not having any friends, and the next day we started the whole thing all over again. He even got to where he started saying he was a bad boy, but that’s not true at all. Starting over means he gets a fresh start in a place that will support him adequately and begin to fill valuable again. That makes starting over again more worth it than anything else. He needs to know he is smart, good, and important.
He had his first day at the new school yesterday and for the first time in forever, he had a really good day! He got all smiles on his behavior chart at school and stayed on green the whole time he was in after school care. Starting over again gave him exactly what he needed, and he was so happy about having a good day that he could hardly contain himself. This gives me a great sense of relief, and the knowledge that what we did was truly the right thing.