Thursday, October 16, 2008


Similar observations (see yesterday's post) this morning..

Potatey had forgotten his school library book, so I had to race to our neighborhood school (both boys ride the same bus to the same school and then go their separate ways) to try and catch up. I got there just as the bus arrived.

Potatey BOUNCES of the bus, big smile on his face, grabs the book from my hand with a 'Thanks. Bye mom" and runs into the school gym to wait for the bus to HIS school.
Not a backward glance.
I hear him chatting with school mates, see him high-fiving other little boys that come rolling of other school buses...
He's comfortable, he's confident and he's enjoying himself tremendously (I realize that Potatey operates on the other extreme of the "social" scale; this one is an extrovert in every fiber of his being).

Salamander is one of the last kids of the bus.
Walking slowly, appearing slightly bewildered (sensory overload probably as it is LOUD and there are kids running helter skelter everywhere!) and *lost* (he had the "I've landed on an alien planet" look on his face, and the body language to match).
Meanders into the same school building, sees me, stops by for a quick 'body bounce', and then slowly, slowly walks into school.
Looking back over his shoulder at me at least 3 or 4 times.

There is a lot of stuff not going so good at school for Salamander right now (which will be a topic for discussion at this morning's IEP meeting), which is creating a lot of anxiety. He's already worn out and utterly exhausted BEFORE the school day even starts (and the current medical issues just compound that..).

Now I realize that both my boys are very different. Potatey is Extrovert Extraordinaire and Salamander is an introvert. And that's OK.

But what I want for Salamander is to feel good about himself and to feel confident that, whatever comes his way during the day, he'll be able to handle it (on his own terms, of course). And I've seen Salamander in plenty social/unstructured situations by now to KNOW that he can do exactly that.
But it doesn't come easy to him, and *the balance* is very fragile and easily disturbed.. (and yes, I am DREADING Middle School next year; 5th graders are tough on each other, next year will be infinitely tougher..).

And if he simply didn't care about all the social and human interactions, if he were happy floating around in his own separate little world, then I'd let it go. But I know that he DOES want to be smack dab in the middle of it all, he so wants to be able to do what comes so easily and naturally to Potatey. He WANTS to be a part of it all, not just *on the sideline looking in*....

Time to get ready for the IEP review meeting. Lots to discuss and I am going to have to triage and make sure the key 3 issues get worked out first (academics [reading, spelling, math]; stressful situations and atmosphere in the Pragmatic Learning Center [can't get into the details; what I described above is very much part of it all though]; use of candy as a reward system [so NOT!!; that was started, for whatever reason, this year as several other students have candy rewards written into their IEP; they don't want Salamander to feel left out. While I appreciate that sentiment, we're going to have to pick a different reward... Yes, it is *safe* candy, but still.. I don't want Salamander to have 2 or 3 pieces of candy every single day]).

More later...


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