Today Jake is sitting for his first state assessment test. Oh yay. (That “Oh yay” should be read with the deepest, heaviest amount of sarcasm that you can muster from within.) This will be my family’s first experience with the test.
In addition to the TWO WEEK LONG testing schedule, the daily routine is shot to pieces. For typical children, this may work out fairly well. But for my children, it is a nightmare. Jake has been anxious for a week about these tests. He is worried about the actual test. He is worried about doing well. He is worried about his teachers and us, his parents, not being proud of him. He is worried that he is eating lunch earlier in the day. He is anxious about the fact that he isn’t taking the tests with the rest of his class. (His IEP allows for one-on-one administration, as he talks his way through the problems on the test. He also gets extended time because he needs to process the questions being asked.)
Tate is also impacted by the state assessment tests. His grade swapped “specials” times and “lunch/recess” time with the third graders. These first graders have to adjust to specials (art/P.E./music/library) first thing in the morning and a 1:00 lunch time. 1:00 lunch time for first graders, who eat breakfast early so as to be at school by 8:30, is asking a lot. The teachers are allowing for 2 snack breaks in the day for the first graders, but it’s still a big adjustment. Additionally, because the specials were changed, Tate is getting two weeks of art classes (he typically misses art because we pull him early for ABA), and he will only have lunch with his class on Wednesday and Thursdays. (He gets released later on those days for therapy than the other 3 days.) His therapy schedule is all jazzed up right now, too. He is getting group therapies that he sometimes misses, and is missing individual therapies that he needs.
The teachers have done their best to prepare the kids for the changes. They talked about it, and Tate’s teacher used visuals to help the class see how it would be different. Hubz and I talked about it a bit over the weekend, as well. Last night, Tate woke up at 1:00 am. ONE IN THE MORNING. He was unable to fully fall back asleep. He’d doze off here and there, but he never fell asleep for more than a half hour before waking up again. Hubz and I were poked,jabbed, climbed upon, and kept awake with much echolalia.
We are a day into this mess, and I am feeling overwhelmed. I guess we only can go up from here….and I hope we do. Two weeks of this is not appealing to me, whatsoever. And then, once they get back to their regular schedule, they will have 5 days and be on Spring Break. No rest for the weary….literally.