The Year of The Boy/Never Quit

Good Morning Everyone!

For those of you with children, especially if you have children with special needs, this post will get you.
As many of you know my son has very high functioning Asperger’s, you also know many of the struggles we have gone through with school, friends, and sports.
My husband and I have fought endlessly for our son to be successful in school and in life, we have struggled the most with our sons schools.

A little back story for you, 5 days into Kindergarten, we were told our son was no longer welcome there and that coming Friday would be his last day there. My husband and I told them no and we fought to keep our son there through the end of 1st grade, it took us hiring a para for him, in addition to the tuition we were playing, to follow him around all day. We finally quit when our son was going nuts because someone was always near him.
We transferred him to public school foe 2nd Grade and he did much better. There was a para in the room, but not just for him, he struggled with some things, but overall did much better….then came 3rd Grade….and changing schools again. In our school district, at the time, the schools were laid out, K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12. So in 3rd grade he transferred to his 3rd school in 4 years. The school was much larger in size (it was an old jr high building with 3 floors) and there were 12 classes of 3rd Graders each with 27 students. It was a recipe for disaster right from the beginning…..the next year for 4th Grade, our school district changed the schools back to K-5 and even though he was in the same building, it was a different school and even had a name change….again, another disastrous year.
Our son was pulled from the classroom constantly for special ed, he still had a para, but this time, he absolutely hated her and even though we told the school support staff from day one, that para would never work, they wouldn’t change her.
We also struggled with hearing that our son was doing great in the classroom, but horribly in special ed, so we tried to cut back on special ed, but to no avail……needless to say, another year of no learning and one more year of my son feeling like a failure. We knew we were done with schools for my son.
It was decided that I would homeschool our son, using online schooling. The public school didn’t like that decision we made, but we didn’t like seeing our child slipping away from us and watching him become more and more agitated and distant.

I hope I never forget this morning: I was driving to my daughter’s school to have lunch with her and I felt led to pray. I was upset, angry, and I knew my son deserved more than what he was getting, he was way to smart to NOT be successful in school and to not be learning and enjoying learning. So I prayed for wisdom, because just the day before after being sure we were going to homeschool/online school our son, I found out his teacher was looping with the class up to 5th grade. He was successful in her class, just not in that school. So I prayed to God, for wisdom and guidance and to show us where our son was to go to school next year, should it be home/online schooling, should he loop with his teacher, or…should he go to a charter school we had him on a waitlist for?
The charter school thing, had fallen off our radar and I hadnt even thought about it in months, because we had given up on traditional schooling for our son. I don’t know why I added that school almost as an after thought in my prayer, but it was out there, I said Amen and went off to lunch with my daughter. Well wouldn’t you know it, God answered my prayer before I even got back home! When I got home, I opened my emails and discovered my son had gotten in to that charter school he had been on a waitlist for. I instantly panicked, because that wasn’t my plan, it wasn’t even on our radar anymore, great, now what do we do?

Well, thankfully, my husband and were obedient to God and we took his sign and enrolled our son there for the fall. We were nervous all summer, yet felt peace, although we tried not to get our hopes up for we had been wrong before.

About 3 weeks before school started we decided to also sign our son up for football, he had never played before, but we were noticing he needed more physical things to do, he needed to break, crush, hammer things and we felt is was that or trying to get him a dirt bike! He started football and actually loved it and for someone who hadn’t ever even watched a game of football, he wasn’t totally horrible. 🙂

Then school started, our sons new school had a strict uniform policy and I knew something had changed in my son when he wanted to tuck in his shirt the first day,(he HATES his shirts being tucked) because he tucks them in for football. Looking back, I wish I would have run out and purchased some regular tuck in polos instead of the banded ones(only ones they allowed to wear untucked) to take advantage of this new found not caring about tucked in shirts.

My husband and I held our breaths, but there were positive signs even before school started, he had his first male teacher, the school was willing to let him try and be a ‘normal’ student before enacting all of his IEP directives, and they seemed unafraid of him as they had many other students with Aspergers there. BTW, for all of you parents out there, we didn’t find this out until too late, but when transferring your child to a new school/district, you DO NOT have to transfer their records! You can forbid the school from releasing their records to anyone!

So, long story short here people, it has been 5 weeks of school, our son no longer has a para, he is calm, doing well and we were forced to have an IEP meeting, not because of how bad he was doing, but because they felt it was completely wrong. So, last week, his IEP was changed from 90 minutes a DAY of pulling out of classroom for special ed, to 20 minutes a WEEK, yes a WEEK of special ed. They actually don’t think he needs an IEP at all, and told us if had come in there as a new student without knowing his history, they wouldn’t have even thought he needed one. They only kept it so that it can be used for what it is supposed to be used for, IF he needs any help, it is there, but they wont force it on him.

Praise God! Not only that, but our son isn’t behind, isn’t a trouble maker and is actually making friends too. Now, onto football, he loves it, is having the time of his life, listens to his coaches, doesn’t screw around and works hard. He HATES practices but loves the games and last night was his last practice and a little presentation after practice. He was named Rookie of the Year and his coach teared up talking about our son. He said our son was the highlight of his year and loved coaching him. He also mentioned he knew our son didn’t like the practices, but he knew how much he liked the games and how hard he tried and for someone who had never played before on a team of boys who had been together since they were 5 or 6, he did really well.

So the message here? Never give up on your children, never quit fighting for them and always go with your gut, because YOU know your children better than anyone ever could. We knew our son could and should be successful, we knew he just hadn’t been given the chance and now, he has blossomed and he is back! My sweet, kind, loving boy is back. He still has some issues we are deal8ng with, mostly self esteem stuff due to years of ‘failing’ according to teachers/schools, but we are working that and right now, we will take all the victories we can get 🙂

Don’t settle, don’t give up and if you feel something is wrong, fight for your children.

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