Next year is third grade. A game changer, of sorts. State testing begins, and a lot more is expected academically. Frankly, I am not sure how we have made it through second grade. The year started out rough, got a bit better, then nose-dived these past couple months. We are also starting to see more issues with reading and writing (although, thankfully, math remains a strong suit).
Katie has been mainstreamed since Kindergarten. Mainstreaming is the ideal, these days, although we have asked repeatedly for at least half days in the PDD class. That, we were told, is the "last resort". For their part, the school has attempted to pile on the supports, especially this year, but it still isn't enough. I know schools love to boast high mainstreaming numbers, and I know some parents love to say their kid is mainstreamed, but we are not those parents.
My child is full of anxiety all the time. Her behaviors are worse at school, and carry over to home. Sometimes I feel like we are living in a war zone. Things have gotten so bad, we were offered home ABA services. For the school to offer anything is quite telling, in my opinion.
Katie just can't handle a class with 28 (yes, TWENTY-EIGHT) kids, all talking and making noise. She isn't as engaged as she should be. She has no friends, and soon the other kids will grow impatient with her differences. She needs more direct help than they can provide. Mainstreaming might sound good, but not when a child doesn't have the basic skills to make it work.
So, here we are again, faced with the decision of fighting to pull K from the mainstream, or keeping her in, hoping for the best. Things aren't going to get easier from here, and it's definitely not going to get easier to teach her how to cope the older she gets. There is part of me that thinks I am somehow betraying my daughter by not wanting her in the general ed class; but, there is another part of me that thinks we are failing her by trying to keep her mainstreamed just to say she's mainstreamed.
It might just be time to pull that plug.
Jen is the mom of two great kids, Katie, who is 8, and has Autism, and Ben, who is 5, and has boy. She blogs at Still Looking Up, and you can follow her on Twitter @JenTroester.