Special Education Hoops

Monday afternoon I received a phone call from the principal at “A’s” school. It’s been a year and a half since the principal called- and that phone call was in regards to extreme behavior. Dr. Principal (yes, she has her doctorate) tells me right away that I’m on speaker phone and A’s teacher is also in the room. Double whammy.
The principal tells me about the standardized testing they are doing this week and that the children in A’s fourth grade class take their tests in the morning and he does his in the afternoon, in a separate room. (This set-up is part of his I.E.P. to allow him the best environment for testing, which usually translates to less distractions and more time.) She also says that the aide that usually works with him is assigned to a different child this week. THEN she tells me A will be sent to a “holding room” during the mornings and asks if I would be willing to just keep him home during the mornings and only send him in the afternoons this week.
I say “I suppose I could arrange to bring him later. Before lunchtime or after?”
She seems to be stumbling around her words, hearing the uncertainty in my voice, because she then tells me the room is a first grade classroom with a competent teacher… and two adults will be in the room with him. “How do you think he’d do?” in the other classroom she wants to know. I said if he was allowed to do activities he enjoys he should be fine. And then she remembers that he rides the bus and me having to bring him to school might be a hardship.
I have the idea and agree to keep him home in the mornings IF he becomes a distraction to the first grade classroom.
I sent him to school Tuesday morning with a new box of crayons and notebook, knowing he can happily draw for hours to keep himself occupied. There was no phone call or note so I assume he did fine. So, I sent another new notebook with him today.
But the longer I think about it, the term “holding room” conjures images of animals locked away. As if my child is livestock to be moved around when convenient, or inconvenient as it may turn out to be. That A’s structure/routine is not important to them since they are willing to toss him into an unfamiliar room, with no adults (or children for that matter) who understand his quirks.
Hear mommy growl under her passive facade.
It appears he won’t be getting any schooling this week, just babysitting and standardized testing. Maybe I should just keep him home and do workbooks with him here.

"Wouldn’t it Be Nice"

I put the title in quotes because I’m mentally signing that song. Mentally, so as not to create noise pollution.
Wouldn’t it be nice to get a whole new wardrobe every month? To pass on the discarded clothes to others and refill the drawers and hanging spaces in your room with a complete new assortment of adorable, and sometimes even trendy, outfits.
Such is the life of Princess S. She turns four months this week and each month I have to bump her wardrobe up to the next size. At birth she wore (filled out in most cases) 0-3 and 3 month clothing. At one month she was wearing 3-6 months. At two months it was 6 months. At three months she wore 6-9 months. Now, she’s on to 9 and even some 12 months (depending on the cut- she has a long torso).
Both new and used clothes keep coming our way; thanks to generous family members and friends and even my son’s bus driver (not to mention my impulse buying of things so sweet and cheap I couldn’t pass up over the years) we more or less have her first year of clothes taken care of. I always thought I’d use gender neutral clothes with a girl, like I did with my boys, but it’s just too much fun playing dress-up. I’m loving purple tones more than ever. So whenever I do need to buy something to fill-in the gaps I gravitate toward purple and lavender and wisteria…
On a side note, the goldfinches are arriving! My favorite time of the year to bird watch in the yard. The goldfinches usually stop here mid-late January through March. Long enough for them to start looking gorgeous in their summer plumage before they head back north. But it’s a good thing they don’t stay around all year- I couldn’t afford to feed them. Thistle seed is pricey. “Gold” seed for the goldfinches. And when you get 60-100 goldies eating from your feeders for a month (it takes a few weeks for the numbers to max out and some start leave earlier) the seed bill adds up quickly! But it’s worth the (short term) expense to watch them change and have them here for the Great Backyard Bird Count. I can always count on them for some impressive numbers (to my standards) on my daily counts. http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc/