Life, Autism, Disability, and More

Tag Archives: ESY

schoolhouse - image by ren - morguefile.comThe gods of special needs kids and parents are capricious.

Yesterday, everything went as smoothly as anyone could expect for the first week of summer vacation. It got a bit rough at the end of the day, but Simon was tired and hungry, and who among us can cast the first stone for being in a bad mood in that situation?

This morning we went out shopping with a friend, and by the time it hit 11, he was getting upset, stamping his foot, whining, and doing everything else he does when he’s unhappy. Luckily, I got him to tell me that he was angry because he was hungry. Again, hangry is a legit thing for any of us. It totally would’ve broken Job, amiright?

We hit an early lunch at Whatburger. (Whataburger, if you read this, send me free coupons because Simon luuuuvs you!)

Simon showed he was hungry: he ate his food, stole fries from my friend, and drank two jugs of OJ. After that, he was calmer, said he was happy, and said he wasn’t hungry.

Score.

Things were okay after that.

We went home and chilled out. He watched TV and played with some of his birthday gifts.

Then it was time to go to HEB. For some reason, the grocery store is one of Simon’s favorite places to go. I don’t know if it’s because of the loaves and fishes. Oh wait, we don’t buy fish. Maybe it’s the cheese and bread to make grilled cheese sandwiches?

I don’t know why it is, but he loves it. He’ll wake me up in the morning by asking when we’re going to HEB. (HEB – if you’re reading this, give me some free coupons, too!)

We drove to HEB – he was happy.

We went into HEB – he was happy.

We shopped through most of the store – he was happy.

We walked into the produce area and ran into…his teacher from this past year.

The happy was gone.

Simon saw her, he touched her arm, she said hi to him.

It was all over.

He immediately began to talk about ESY (Extended School Year – like summer school for kids with disabilities) and school. His entire focus shifted to it. After fighting his obsession all weekend, he gave into it.

I tried to pay for out groceries and get us out of the store as quickly as possible, but he melted down at the register. I used all my tricks for calming him down, and none of them worked.

It was a very, very unsuccessful shopping trip.

So, I pray, dear capricious special needs gods, keep teachers and other school personnel away from us as we shop. (And don’t take it personally, but I think we’ll start driving out of town to a Kroger’s instead.) 


World's Best Mother StatueAt the thrift store, I spotted it.

One of those little statuettes from the 1970s. I remember having them in the house when I was a kid, up on the shelves with knickknacks and tchotchkes.

But this one. This one was for me:
World’s Best Mother.

I brought it up to the register to buy it, and the woman in line behind me saw it. Well, part of it.

“What does that say?” She asked.

“World’s Best Mother.” I picked it up off the counter and showed it to her.

And I bought it.

For myself.

 

I don’t know about your house, but in our house, summer is rough. Simon *loves* school.

He loves the people. He loves the routine. He loves the activities.

Starting yesterday (Memorial Day), he began to focus on ESY (Extended School Year for y’all not in the know…it’s like summer school, but for kids with special needs who need extra help over the summer).

He spent the whole Monday talking about ESY, asking about it, telling us when it was.

Unfortunately, ESY is only four weeks long. Two weeks in June. Two weeks in July. Four days each of those weeks. Three hours each of those days.

Math.
4 x 4 x 3 = 36 hours.

Over nine weeks.

I’m going into the summer prepared and hopeful.

The World’s Best Mother award is part of those preparations.

Like most mothers – especially those of us mothers with special needs kids – there are more days when we feel like the worst mothers instead of the best mothers.

But we shouldn’t.

Even on those worst mother days, we’re still pretty good. As long as our kids are still alive, we’re still alive, and no one is going to jail, it’s a good day.

We’re the World’s Best Mothers.

Download Me:
Worlds Best Mother Award

 


subliminal_animationFor the uninitiated into the secret language of special needs education, ESY is Extended School Year. So far, Simon has qualified for it every year.

To qualify, your child must show significant regression linked to long breaks, and there must be significant recoupment. Of course, this means some school districts make up data/rules, but we’re in a good system that actually uses real data and rules. But I digress…

The thing is, Simon *loves* going to ESY. He loves school anyway, so it’s not surprising that he’d like ESY since there are less kids, and he gets a lot of attention. On top of that, he still gets to ride the bus twice a day. It’s like heaven for him.

The only problem we have with ESY is it often has a lot less communication between the teachers/parents. Part of the issue is because ESY has shortened days, and it’s only four days a week. It often gets scheduled rather last minute because of the need for current data, and that can also make it more difficult to know who the teacher will be ahead of time. Add those factors the fact the district itself is on reduced hours and there isn’t always too much staff around in the school itself to answer phones.

Now, I say all that, but I do know how to contact people, and it’s not like we never hear from anyone. I’m just saying there’s less communication.

Which is why I’m wondering what, exactly, they have been teaching Simon over the summer.

I ask that because this morning I woke up to Simon sitting on the bed next to me, whispering, “We’re going to HEB,” over and over again. Quiet. Deliberate. Convincing.

I think they may have been teaching him how to use subliminal messages.

Oh, and do you need anything from the store? Because we’re heading out to HEB in a few minutes…

(Oh, and thanks to http://gifmaker.me/ for making the animated gif process quick and easy!)