Tuesday, 31 July 2012


It's coming....kindergarten!! Bah!  Tomorrow it will be August and mommy is turning into a bit of a basket case.  I get nervous every year when I send Jack to school, and he has been going since he was 2.  It's an adjustment for any kid to go to a new school, I certainly know all about that since I switched schools approximately every 2 years until I was about 12.  For Mr. Fury though, it is tougher for sure.  We have had the same conversation for at least the first few months of school each year.  I say "time to go to school!" and he screeches "time to go to home".  Then I say "be good for the teacher" and he says "no, be good for mommy!"  As my mother points out all the time, I certainly feel loved.  I am really glad we have such a strong bond.  However, mommy is ready for this transition.  It is SO time!!!

He has certain advantages after going to Pre-K in a public school, which I keep trying to remind myself of.  He is used to the "larger" school atmosphere, he has lots of practice with getting in line, having a sparser student to teacher ratio, etc.  But most of the kids in his Pre-K had some type of disadvantage, whether it was coming from a high risk background, having English as a second language, or some sort of developmental disability.  That will not be the case now, and I am terrified he is going to have difficulty fitting in.  We were at a birthday party for one of his playgroup buddies last Friday, and as usual, he went after the babies- wanted to touch their feet, talk baby talk to them, etc.  He barely even noticed the other kids his age, and had difficulty sitting during circle time (we were at Rolly Pollies).  Usually I say to myself, it's a big crowd, he's just not used to it.  With kindergarten approaching, however, I realize that he will be exposed to a chaotic environment much more frequently from now on.  And the self-direction that will be required scares me the most.  The transition from bus to school, going to lunch, preparing his juice box, opening his lunch box, opening food packages.  His fine motor skills are still significantly delayed, even though they are greatly improved.  Wonder if other kindergarten parents think about these same things?  I have been putting him through his own personal boot camp- and right now he is failing miserably.  Juice is everywhere and the straw is stuck in the drink (like all the way in), he can't get things open.  We still have 4 weeks and I have expressed my concerns to his OT, who is wonderful with him.  She has said she will help him practice.  I mean, will he be able to open his backpack?  It has a zipper....sheesh.

Speaking of his OT, she came out to talk to me while Jack was in session last weekend, as she has a student with her right now who was pretty much independently running the session at this point.  SHE got teary talking about Jack going to kindergarten- she has been working with him since he was 3, and they are SO bonded.  I still hear her talking about Jack as her favorite client behind the desk and it is known that if he needs a second appointment during the week, they are to match him with her if at all possible.  He does well with anyone at this point to be honest, but Miss Sam wants to work with him.  Love it.  She and I went through all of the possible challenges he will face in school and she had suggestions for most of them.  He still has a terrible time with fasteners- buttons, snaps, and zippers.  He just doesn't have the strength in his hands, although, once again, it is improving.  It has never been that much of an issue at school- this boy is skinny, and even when he has on regular jeans he can slip them on and off without unbuttoning.  I am worried about his coat- who is going to help him?  I know the teacher will try, but she has lots of 5 year olds to worry about.  So we need to work on that too.  Sam suggested I "brush" him before school each morning, as this seems to help "ground" him and leaves him better able to focus.  Sounds like a great idea, and MAYBE I can find the time....his school will be starting later, won't have to leave the house until after 8:30.  It's just that the mornings, like in most houses, are beserko at our house!  And while this is the case for most families, are you chasing your 2 year old around with a syringe???  Yeah, Nate is wise to his shots now and takes off the minute he sees me coming.  That boy is fast!  Between that, the special diets, and the supplements (which thanks for my friend Bridget I am now hiding in Nate's almond butter when I put it on his bread- thanks brilliant woman!!!), I am one busy lady in the am.  But if it's necessary, we will find a way.

I do have a few plans in place for Jack.  Our next-door neighbor has an 8 year old daughter who Jack likes very much, and she is going to "help" him on the bus and getting off the bus at school.  The special educator agreed that he should have a "lunch buddy" for awhile as well.  An older child to help with juice boxes, etc.  I just don't want him to stick out too much.  This is one of the first times that his social life is one of my biggest concerns.  I want him to make some real friends, not just kids that he plays "around".  This is a big expectation for a child with Aspergers.  We are lucky that there are some kids that he already knows who will be in his grade.  And he does, at times seem to notice other kids and want to interact with them.  He is certainly interactive at home- and he and Nate are acting more and more like siblings- as much as is possible without a lot of language anyway.  A lot of pushing, swatting on the sly, and chasing.  I love every second of it.  Not only is Jack interested in his brother, but Nathan is teaching him some social limits by screaming at him when he goes too far.  He has needed that for a long time.  He is actually starting to treat Nate like he is a person.  It's pretty cool to see.  

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