Five Schools in Five Years

9 Sep

Today was the first day of school for Flower, at her fifth school in five years.  They say kids on the spectrum don’t adjust to change well… at this point we wonder how Flower would adjust to being at the same school two years in a row.

Of course, Flower does do change just fine as long as she can anticipate it.  As long as it is on the schedule.  And she did her Extended School Year session at this school, had the same Special Ed teacher and everything, so she was pretty OK with it, except for missing her best friend S., who moved to San Francisco, and her favorite lunch lady Mrs. Larkin.

She really did love Mrs. Larkin.

She learned to write her name and everything.

It takes each school a while to adjust to the Ways of Flower, and that means that I’ll get an awful lot of calls from the nurses’ office, an awful lot of mildly disturbing notes home, until they’ve adjusted.  Because she’ll howl for no reason.  Existential angst.  Music stopped mid-song makes her absolutely wild, for example, but how do you explain that she might not actually be in dire pain, but just upset about a premature song ending?  Or having a pimple on her lip?  Or (as happened today) a mosquito bite.

She’ll howl for a reason too.  So how can they differentiate?  I can’t, and I’m her mother.

But every time I see the school nurses’ office number come up on my caller ID, my heart contracts with fear.

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