Now for the Guilt

Laurie Childree By Laurie Childree, 3rd Aug 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Diaries

The new school year was causing a great deal of stress and frustration. Now it's causing feelings of guilt even though I know that the decision we've made if for the best. The decisions were not made lightly in fact a lot of thought, frustration and tears went into making them.

Back to the Drawing Board

Saying no to Head Start - At the end of the last school year I frantically rushed to get everything together for the deadline so that Theresa's application for Head Start would be ready to go when they reviewed them. Well, the time came and I went to the initial interview to do the paperwork. A puzzle piece would later cause me to change my mind, three times.

There were some kids putting a puzzle together at a table and one of the pieces fell on the floor. Theresa picked the piece up and tried to give it to them but since she didn't know how to get their attention she just put the puzzle piece back on the floor. It was rather heart breaking when her daddy told me this. She wants so badly to "fit in" whatever that means. It's hurtful to see her trying to play with other kids and not knowing just what to do. I made up my mind then I called and told them to give her spot away, I'd keep her home for the year.

Call from the School I was surprised to get a message from the school to remind me that she could always go back to PHP if I didn't feel she was ready for the Head Start. PHP is the pre-head start program and approximately two and a half hours shorter. I was thinking that it was a waste but time to send her to do things she already new how to do but the more I tried to get her to sit still for me without other children I decided that we're not ready to Home School just yet. So I called to put her back in PHP.

Another Change of Heart- I frantically called the school to find out if it was too late to let her go back to Head Start then if she wasn't really ready she could go back to PHP. Potty training is the biggest concern but she knows schedules and will use the potty on a schedule, she can even take care of her basic needs there. So as you can guess I decided that she'll be fine and in the meantime we're making sure that she's able to go on a schedule. So far the only accidents we've had is when I mess up her schedule for the bathroom.

Uniform Treasure Hunt

Too Big for My Tiny Child- The local school board implement a uniform policy a few years ago that even the preschools in the city school system have to follow. At PHP they can wear T-shirts instead of the polo style or blouses which was a saving grace last year since I could neither afford them or find them in my child's size. The pants had to be navy blue or khaki/tan, and they were too big as well. I simply went to the toddler section and bought her the 3T that she wears. This year she can't get away with that, the uniform has to be correct. I went on a treasure hunt and the smallest sizes were 3's and 4xtra small. Each was either too big, too long or had buttons and belt loops. She doesn't fasten buttons yet and she can't fasten her own belt yet.

Solution- I found that she can wear a size four shirt so I was happy. I managed to go the Burke's and got her three size four shirts with collars for less than $8 total! I was pleased with my find. The rest of the uniform was a little trickier. I had to do a treasure hunt calling almost every store in town and still didn't find the pants that I needed. ended up at Wal-Mart only to discover that the scooters are too big in the waste but she won't be without the proper clothes this year. I found out that the jumpers fit her just right so I got her two of them. She still has a few pair of the navy blue shorts I purchased for the last school year that are suitable to wear to school. I just get to hand wash laundry when she gets home from school to make sure they don't end up in the dirty clothes waiting for enough to do a full load.

What not reuse more of her clothes from last year? It's simple her pants have pink tints to them, although I am a good mind to go purchase some clothing dye when my husband gets his first check of the school year. If I can manage to get her pants back to the navy blue they are supposed to be she may be able to get by wearing them to school one more year without having to purchase too many more items. I bought her a new pair of black shoes to go with her jumpers and little white dress socks. I'm going to send her tennis shoes with her in order to allow her to have a pair suitable for running around outside. I still have to find tennis shoes for her that she can wear everyday since one pair lights up and the straps on the other pair have stopped fastening due to repeated washing.

Therapy Conflicts

Unable to Get Therapy Rescheduled[/b Over the summer there were changes made to Theresa's therapy schedule. I'm pretty sure no one was paying attention and half of the changes were because no one was listening to begin with. Head Start does not let out until 2:30 five days a week. It is part of the local school system and had attendance requirements. We have private therapy five days a week at this time and all of those are begin before 2:30 in the afternoon, while the school provides therapy I'm not ready to leave her in the hands of the school simply because the need is so great. A lot kids and a few therapists means that progress is often slower.

I called the clinic but the person I needed to speak to was busy. She was supposed to call me back, That was August 3, 2011 at 10:35a.m. it is now August 4, 2011 at 1:13p.m. I understand that she has a job to do but making appointments is part of her job and I'd really like it if she would do it. I'm not looking forward to the conversation however since she has yet to realize that for the last year and a half my child has been in the public school system. I remember well an offensive "real school" comment that she made when I wouldn't schedule therapy during the times that Theresa was at PHP.

We may have to give up our private therapists and go it alone until I can figure out what else can be done. It'll only take a day to find out if she's truly ready for the Head Start though. I don't want to rearrange her entire schedule but I can't keep up the amount of appointments she has, not when last year I had a therapist not hear me the few dozen times I told her the child was tired because she herself was tired. To her credit she thought she was listening and she did the job just the way she'd been trained to do it. I know her intentions are good, they're so good in fact she made sure to tell me she could move my baby girl's appointment up two hours each week. Well, I decided to do that but there is one problem, I wasn't thinking about Head Start when I did.

What Do We Do?

I'm still attempting to figure out what we are going to do. I found myself relieved for a moment when I was no longer worried about schools and therapy schedules. The problem now though is that the camera is holding my pictures hostage. The computer will not read the memory card and I can not find the cord. I'll be back to add pictures of Theresa's cute little uniforms when I finally find the cord to get my pictures onto my computer.


Education, Expenses, Guilt, Headstart, Preschool, Therapy

Meet the author

author avatar Laurie Childree
I'm the single mother of an autistic child a published author. I have a wide range of topics that interest me including personal finance, writing, self employment and creative writing.

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author avatar Robb714
8th Aug 2011 (#)

This article should be very helpful for those of us raising children with Autism, especially ones with less experience. Thank you for sharing even though sometimes it is difficult, I sense it makes you feel better. Bless you.

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author avatar Laurie Childree
8th Aug 2011 (#)

Yes, Robb714, it does make me feel better. Thank you for taking the time to read it.

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author avatar Retired
6th Oct 2011 (#)

oh this is an insider's take on autism..well prolonged training is the only solution..I have a poem on autism that I would publish after reading your post here

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