Tuesday, May 19, 2020

At least one thing we can count on these days

Remember when you were a kid and your teacher took the class outside during spring and how excited you were? That's what yesterday was like. Max could not have been more thrilled to get outside. This boy is all about warm weather—he can't stand the cold, as he reminded us all winter long. He is also going by L.A. time these days. I mean, he shows up on time for class and all but otherwise informs us that he is going to sleep at, say, 6:00 when it's 9:00 here.

I have taken Max's schooling for granted all these years. These days, though, it's a godsend. It engages him and keeps routine in his life, something that's a struggle at our house. It's also all the socializing he gets these days, other than Zooms with our family and family friends. I am so grateful Max is into it.

With everything else in the world so overwhelmingly uncertain and up in the air, we can count on virtual schooling. Class may be short-ish— from 9 to around 11:30, with therapies sometimes scheduled in the afternoon—but overall, it's great. Ditto for Sabrina, who gets the full amount of usual school time. Ben is getting just 45 minutes of preschool class time a week, a bummer for us all.

Max's amazing teacher has been going to his school, making copies of worksheets and mailing the packets to families. On Sunday nights, she emails his homework for the week and I print it out. So far, so good, even if we don't always get to the homework. (See: "struggle at our house.")

We had Max's IEP last week, and overall it went well but it raised big questions about the next school year. He has the option of choosing a program through which he'd get work experience. Max was eager to do it, but the assistant principal warned us that we don't yet know what kind of job options would exist. And then, there's the fact that I am not sure Max could even return to school in the fall, if it does open, as he is considered high risk for complications from the coronavirus. If that happens, what kind of education is he entitled to still receive at home? How would that even happen—he'd watch a videotape of the class in progress? I've asked to have wording put into the IEP that there would be a reevaluation, depending on the status of school in September. 

For now, I'm focusing on the fact that schooling is working out. I hope it is for your child, too. 

Day by day, people. Day. By. Day.

FYI, here's a great segment from PBS NewsHour on the challenges parents of kids with special needs face with virtual learning. One important takeaway: Save samples of your child's assignments and work, to document how they've been doing—and to show any potential regression, in case.

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