It’s amazing to me that it’s been more than a year since I posted anything here. It’s not for lack of material believe me, but it’s mostly because 1) I started working full-time, and 2) as my kids are getting older and their issues more complex I feel less free to share their personal stuff online.
There are a few things I want to share though, and I should probably take them one at a time, so I think I’ll start with my 15 year old daughter’s transition to high school.
It’s hard to even type “15” – partly because of the normal parental feelings of time flying by so quickly (I definitely feel that way about my other two children), but also because developmentally her age is a little more ambiguous. In some ways she’s very 15, into clothes and shopping, doing her nails, wanting to grow her hair long, shaving her legs etc… but in other ways, mostly regarding social awareness/cues, including sex (thank God! although I know that’s coming), she’s much younger.
I was so nervous about her going to the high school. Our high school has kids from four different towns, so not only was she going to go to a new building, but she was going to be thrown in with a large population 75% of whom she would not know, and who would not know her. I was nervous about the size of the building and her getting lost (since she has inclusion for gym and art, and she does not have a 1-on-1 aide).
Luckily, thanks to the support of her teachers and class aides, a program she was a part of that paired special ed kids with typical kids, and her own incredible hard work, the transition was practically seamless.
This has been a year of real social growth for her, not that confidence has ever really been a problem (if anything, she’s over-confident because she doesn’t realize her deficits, but that’s a post for another time). She’s joined the Spanish Club (despite knowing almost NO Spanish!), the Sign Language Club, the Gay-Straight Alliance (of which her older sister is president, so we’ve had a few rough moments), and is part of the program I mentioned above which pairs special ed & typical kids for activities. A social butterfly!
We’ve only hit a few bumps. The most concerning one was about a month into the school year she got confused and thought the school day was over. She called me from her cell phone, wondering where I was and why I wasn’t picking her up. We went over her schedule on the phone so she could figure out where she was supposed to be then I called the guidance office so they could double check with the teacher to make sure she had gotten there.
All in all it’s been a great first year of high school for her!