DC has been out of school since 2012. He walked with his class at the high school in 2010 and then moved on to the school system’s Transition Program for the two years between 18 and 21 (“school age” in this area is age 3 to 21 for SPED students).
The tiny boy with the bigger than him Barney lunch box seems like forever ago and not that long ago at all.
When, as the parent of a SPED student your life is pretty much all encompassed by the school system; IEP’s, therapies, fighting for everything (oh, the fighting), it is very difficult cutting the cord when it is all over.
Yes, there are still meetings – we call them IP’s now (no E for Education) and there is still the paperwork (which has more than doubled) but it was really a rude awakening. It took a few years for me to stop panicking when winter, spring, Christmas school vacations came around thinking I did not have a plan for DC, only to realize I did not need a plan because he was out of school and his program was year-round. It was very hard to make a break from the school calendar.
I remember going with *Salli’s mom (and our caseworker) to look at the many Group Supported Programs in the area, trying to find a good fit for DC and *Salli for after they aged out of the school system. We saw many programs, good and bad. I specifically remember coming home each week feeling drained and depressed. I did not say anything at first because I really just thought it was me being overly emotional until *Salli’s mother said the same thing to me one day. There was no more “school”, no more moving into the next phase in the school system – we were looking at the rest of their lives. This was it. This would be their life.
It just hits you in the face.
We have adjusted though, it was a long adjustment period but we have made the adjustment. Now I find myself oblivious to the last day of school and anything related to school.
I remember getting a message from one of DC’s friends and explaining, when I answered him later that day, that I did not want to reply while he was still in class.
DC’s friend: “It’s July. It’s summer vacation”
Yes, I am now officially oblivious to it all….
Except for the bus. I do, at times still call DC’s work transportation – the bus.
Me: (Answering DC’s daily “I’m going home Nowwwww” phone call to me) “Are you on the bus?”
Me: (panicking a little) Where are you? Aren’t you on the bus?
Me: (panicking more) Where ARE YOU!
DC: In the car.
His adjustment is complete.
Finish the Sentence Friday is a link-up where writers and bloggers come together to share themselves with a particular prompt (different formats each week of the month). Hosted by: Kristi Campbell of Finding Ninee and Kenya G. Johnson of Sporadically Yours this week we are finishing the sentence, “It’s the end of the school year, and…”