Ballerina and Music Man haven’t even started kindergarten yet, and it’s already dominating my nearly ever waking moment thoughts. Music Man, well, not so much. I worry about bullying for him in particular as he gets older, but not as much in kindergarten. Ballerina though…..
Who would have thought that her success would weigh so much on my mind? When the twins were both diagnosed as Autistic in 2009, I swore to do the things that were recommended by their teachers and doctors, so that they can make the necessary progress to enter a typical kindergarten classroom when the time came. Well, their first day of kindergarten will be August 27, 2012. Music Man is in a program that is one step shy of a typical classroom, and for him, this is a HUGE victory. Ballerina received the recommendation I had prayed for……”Home School Model” (aka typical classroom setting).
When I first learned this in February, I was overjoyed. I could barely see I was crying so hard. This wasn’t just her victory, but mine as well. Then, once the elation had a chance to settle in, I was able to begin thinking. Was she REALLY READY for a typical classroom?
Her initial placement meeting was shortly after this and her team also wasn’t fully convinced that this was a wise decision. So, we decided to hold off making the decision until closer to the end of the school year. In the meantime, she began attending a typical kindergarten classroom in her school (she is at their level academically — my girl is VERY smart) and we would see how things have gone. And, when I went to visit her recently, I was just amazed at how well she was doing. This was the first time I was allowing myself to consider the possibility that the recommendation may have been right.
Ballerina attended Kindergarten Orientation recently, just like her neurotypical peers. She did just fine in the classroom, but had a lot of trouble waiting for the orientation to begin. We witnessed a fairly significant tantrum that required entry into the OT room so we could find some sensory tools to calm her down (specifically a large textured ball for her to lie on her belly and rock). I don’t know what a typical classroom teacher would do if she was to experience a tantrum like that in the classroom.
So, we are still up in the air. Her final placement meeting is approaching rapidly and I do believe we will make the right decision when we are all sitting in that room. But, until then, I’m driving myself crazy with worry. I hate not knowing what the right answer is. As Mom, isn’t that my job? My heart tells me one thing and my mind tells me something else. Like I said, I know we’ll make the right decision…..and, even if we don’t, we can fix it. But there are days that I just wish that my twins were like their Big Brother……it’s time for kindergarten, so you just go. But, it’s not. I’m an Autism Mom. That’s just the way it is.