Home and Away

As we’re preparing for next week’s assessment meeting, I’m still struck sometimes by the differences between the child we see at home and the one that his professionals see at the school.

Now, I think all kids are different in front of their parents as opposed to the school environment.  I was probably more respectful of my teachers than I was of my parents growing up – there was, after all, a limit to what teachers were going to be willing to put up with as opposed to my parents who were kind of stuck with me.  Likewise, I was certainly not as diligent about showing off what I knew at home versus at school, since I wasn’t being graded at home…

But it’s very much the same thing with the Monster.  We’re used to seeing all of his bad habits – the lack of wanting to his homework, the needing to be bribed to get things done at times, the meltdowns – that his teachers don’t see at school… and that’s probably because he’s also in a very different mode when he’s over at the school.  He has a different rapport with the staff there than he has with us at home.  And, in his classroom, there are more adults to keep him on task…

Which does lead me back to yesterday’s question of “where are we going?”

At GHEMS, the Monster is one of twelve kids in a classroom that has four adults at most times.  This isn’t a typical environment in almost any school – much less for only having twelve kids in it as much as the sheer number of adults – and it certainly won’t be typical of his classes after this school year, regardless of placement.  Since I don’t know much about our other options, which we’ll ask about more in-depth at the assessment meeting when there are specific recommendations for future IEP considerations on the table, we’ll have to find out what they’re going to come up with to try to develop something that keeps the quieter school environment around him without causing the negative behaviors to creep back in.

I will admit that one thing we’ve not seen this year is an opportunity for a trained paraprofessional aide to be with him in a standard classroom, to see if he could keep up with a ‘regular’ kindergarten class with appropriate adult supervision.  Whether that would be too much of a distraction for him to succeed, or if he could be kept on course.  I am hoping that they’re still going to try that between now and April/May when we have to start talking placement… but that’s hoping.  It’s nothing definite.

And while I would definitely prefer to get to the point that he’s as well behaved at home as he is at school… I’d rather the transition not go the other way…

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