Life kinda did a roller coaster this year. I am not even sure we are finished yet, but I feel like I have gotten use to the craziness and can get back to some things I enjoy (like blogging!). From my last post, when I thought I would be coming back you may remember that my son most likely has autism. We go to the doctor for all his screenings June 26. Pray for me until then, because even though I know, hearing it will be one of the hardest things in my life. This group of K friends I just sent to first grade made me seriously consider finding a new career. We came through it in the end (and if any of my parents have found and read my blog know that I loved them, we just really struggled to find our groove, but I think most of you understand it wasn't the kids that caused the problem). In fact it wasn't the kids at all, it was the red tape that is impossible to cut in order to help my students that I love. I had lots of students that need just a little extra help this year either socially, academically, or in some other way (fine motor, gross motor, family situations).
My dealings with all of these issues and with Carter did several things. First it made me angry. Angry at special education, angry with the government that thinks our funding is sufficient or could even be cut, angry at authority. Then it inspired me. Inspired me to improve myself (going back to school), inspired me to improve my school (I am working on creating several inservices for my fellow faculty members regarding special needs), inspired me to improve the community (I am still working on the details of this one). Finally it made me sad. Sad that my son will grow up with this all around him, constantly having to fight to meet his needs, sad that my babies from class will have the same fate as my son, sad that so many teachers and principals think things are okay when they aren't.
I will tell you Carter is in an incredible school with great teachers that work so hard toward his progress. He is in an ABA preschool. This is where I first learned about Applied Behavior Analysis. I was so excited to see what he was doing and how much he was learning I began to research for myself and found UMASS Lowell. They have an online graduate certificate program for Behavioral Intervention in Autism, which provides the right course work for getting your BABC (behavior analyst board certification) all you have to do is complete the observation hours (1500 WOW!) and take the test. I started my first two classes May 20. Let me say this was a big decision considering I have two toddlers (one with special needs), plus my husband and I are starting our own little business this summer, which he will be running completely once school starts back in August. But it was a decision that I had to make. I had to decide would I let doctors and therapist tell me what was best and how to do it, or would I go out and find it on my own, learn it for myself, and feel confident in what I was doing.
One thing that helps out is Carter will be going to summer school the whole month of June and Erin is going to daycare now. At her 18 month appointment I expressed concern that even though she had words she didn't use them a lot and she didn't have many. The doctor said based on her observations, she thinks Erin doesn't talk because she sees Carter communicate without talking and thinks that is what little people do. So goodbye private nanny, hello daycare. We actually found a great daycare between our house and Carter's school, plus they have an after school program he can do starting in August with a bus to take him there! Everything is falling into place, now if I can just slow down enough to enjoy it.
This summer a lot of my blog posts will be about autism, our journey, and new things I am learning. I plan to try and make things for my TPT store for regular education teachers to use with special education students, because if your area is anything like mine you will be seeing them in your classroom more and more, with very little help from outside.
Sorry this was so long and with no pictures. Hopefully the posts will get a little more entertaining as the summer goes!