Night and Day

A month from Friday, the Monster returns to school.

The summer’s just been racing by.  We’ve not had a lot of time to catch our breath, and admittedly a lot of his workbook’s been ignored while we’re doing other things, but there’s that looming date around the corner for things getting underway again on the educational stage.

In theory, ESY services go into next week and then that’s it for a few weeks.  We’re starting to talk about supplementing the Monster’s speech therapy in the interim with another night a week – my insurance will cover one hundred sessions per year for developmental delays – because he’s still not going to get one-on-one sessions when he’s back in school… and the thought is to make sure there’s no further regression during the summer.  Of course, there’s that pesky question of where we can squeeze it in, especially since he’s usually wiped when he gets off the bus from camp…

Camp, though, has been a very interesting experience in a lot of ways.  I’ve talked a lot in the blog about how school’s been a very big struggle, and camp has been an almost-refreshing night-and-day difference.

He has wonderful teachers who have very good intentions and do want the best for him, but have many kids to deal with that we get occasional updates and copies of reports.  At camp, his one-on-one aide sends us home a fairly detailed report, not just of issues or questions, but of what he actually did during the day, so we can ask him better questions and try to work on narrative skills.  (The school system hasn’t been inclined to give him a one-on-one aide in his regular class, but they’re planning on giving him that level of supervision for the half hour a week he’ll be in a general-ed classroom.)

We had major problems with his school bus, which had to travel twenty-five minutes from our house to the school each day, and almost never was on time, despite traveling on less-used city streets.  The camp bus, which has to take him forty-five minutes away along highways that are often clogged due to the rush hours when they’re in motion, is always on time, both dropping him off and picking him up.

At camp, he’s getting one-on-one attention (as far as we know) from his therapists, which he gets from his OT at school, but never from the SLP.  The SLP generally has him in small-group sessions (small group, my understanding, being him and another student), and that’s again very much due to the number of students that they’re serving at his school.

Granted, also, we’re paying extra for camp, for him to have an aide and the like, which we’re not doing for school… but he’s also not getting general education over the summer as he would if we’d sent him to the public schools’ ESY program.

I’m just wondering how much these eight weeks are going to color our perceptions of what we think he should be getting – what we should be getting – when we return to school in a month…

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