A family's story

In the Rough

In golf, when one hits the ball into the higher, more scraggly grass, he or she is said to be “in the rough”. Lately, I feel like we are all “in the rough” around here…and no matter how hard I work or concentrate or strategize, we just can’t get out. I see the desired fairway…and the short, straightforward putting green, but I just can’t get there.

Jake is struggling at school. For once, it isn’t his academics. Rather, his anxiety is reaching new levels. He is thrown for a loop when any little thing changes. His rigidity is worse than Tate’s right now. If activities or quizzes or classes don’t happen in their expected routine, he shuts down. He requires time, more time than is allotted, to regroup and press forward. This does not bode well for 4th grade.

I know that there have been discussions by his IEP team and principal as to whether or not he should be placed in an “instructional” classroom. Thankfully the team and Hubz and I agree that he should NOT be in the “instructional” class. He needs the regular education classroom. The principal agreed to keep him in regular education. Instead, we are increasing his resource room minutes next year. Some of those minutes will be in his regular education classroom, but with “push-in” from the resource teacher for additional support. 

The thought is that Jake’s IEP is updated in October. After about 6 weeks of school under his belt, we will be able to see how the increased minutes are working. If he’s managing his anxiety better, we can reduce them. If they are still needed, we will keep them in the IEP. But, for now, we have his amendment with the additional minutes. 

I am staring to think that rather than giving him “time off” during summer, I need to find a good psychologist or therapist that he can work with to devise some good plans for coping with his stress and worries. It breaks my heart to see him like this. He is more aware of his disparity with his peers…and I see it affecting his self esteem. 

Tate is struggling with the impending transitions, as well. He’s definitely more able to go with the flow of our mixed-up schedule than he used to be, which is helpful. However, he’s exhibiting more behavior that is not what we’d like to see. The “poop” talk is reaching a crescendo. I know I’m supposed to ignore it…but holy moly, I am about to lose it. I am so tired of him working that word into every. single. sentence. (And script. And story. And..everything.) I am really not sure where to go with his “poop” talk. 

My other frustration really is not even Tate’s issue… I mean, it is, but it isn’t. See, the director of our ABA team (and she’s the owner)  does not think Tate should go to ESY this year. I respect her opinion, but I think that going to ESY will be good for him academically, socially, and will help with the continuity of school.  I see more benefits to going than not. And I am his mom and his main advocate. End of story.

Anyway, she said she’d work with the schedule. The main plan was to send him 2 days a week, rather than 4 for the 6 week program. We still don’t have a summer schedule. I submitted my plans in late March/early April…even before we got notice that insurance was going to continue to cover Tate’s ABA after his 7th birthday. Insurance came through…the provider has not.

His current therapists are keeping their same days and hours. They work afternoons. We have 5 mornings that a third, new therapist can choose from in the schedule. I have not heard one word. Not one–from the provider. The other therapists were told that there was going to be a new third therapist. I was told the same. None of us have seen anything or heard anything. When I ask for answers, I get crickets. CRICKETS, people! Chirp, chirp. Chirp, chirp. 

Today I sent an ultimatum. Give me schedule info, or I’m sending Tate to 4 days of ESY..and I expect a provider on the days that he is not in ESY. I gave her all of those days. We will see what happens. Also? While I have been dragging my feet on finding a new ABA provider…this is proving to me that I need to do it…no matter how uncomfortable this makes me feel. Ugh. 

So, I am lining up my shot…and trying to get out of the rough. Hopefully I’ll get to that nice, lush, flat, smooth-sailing place soon. 

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Comments on: "In the Rough" (4)

  1. There’s always some hurdle to cross. I haven’t made any plans for the summer yet. I don’t even know where to start but the longer I take to get started, the worse I feel about the pressure to do it. Our options are so limited and none of them are cheap. Hang in there mama. I hope the anxiety eases up soon. So many of our children seem to be struggling at the moment.

    • Yes, it is the ever-lasting hurdle race! Eek. Hang in there, as well. This time of year brings anxiety to a boiling point…for me, as well. We will get there…it’s just overwhelming at times. Hope you figure out summer plans, too. I know it’s not easy to get it all put together!

  2. A therapist for Jake sounds like an excellent plan. Maybe there is some kind of med that could bring his anxiety down to a manageable level and that will help you get him through the regular classroom time without a need for extra resource room minutes… maybe.

    I think “poop” as an echo would be such a challenge. I’ll probably get to experience it too. RIght now, we’re in the planets – solar system echoing phase – clear anxiety for us. I’m sure this is Tate’s way (at least in part) of processing the feelings he’s having over the changes coming his way.

    ABA provider schedules! Don’t get me going. I’ve had so many shift changes and none of them really a good fit for us. It’s like as they get older, they don’t want to bother fitting around our kids’ schedules. It sucks. Be careful when you switch – you might just get more of the same… I’d look to another mother that has the new ABA provider before you go, just to make sure you are not trading one bad situation for another… Sending hugs…xoxo

  3. o my, remember when summer coming was an awesome thing? Now it is so scary. We don’t qualify for ESY since he has been school age and as much as it feels like I am on my own without supports for the summer, I see that it is no easier for those who get it. hang in there and here’s to hoping for less poop talk at least.

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