|Amelia...first day at her new school!!!|
It was so hard to watch Amelia get into the car with Dan and head on up to the north side of town to her new school. I'm still so sad that all three of them won't be together this year. However, every day I'm more and more convinced that we made the right decision. She has had 3 full days of school and she's already making new friends! I'm well aware that there will be good days and bad days....I'm just hoping for more good! I honestly do see a change in Amelia! She seems to have less outbursts, less tantrums, and definitely more cooperation. She doesn't seem to be quite as angry all the time, but there is still an element of opposition. Things are slowly improving, and I'm good with that. Slow and steady wins the race!
I think there are many things that can be attributed to her improvement. For one thing, she is out of the previous environment (and frankly, I think that was 50% of the problem)! Another reason, I think, is because Dan and I are much more aware of her difficulties and we are showing much more patience in handling some of the more difficult situations. If she is tired, hungry, frustrated or "out of sorts" in any way...this can lead to the oppositional behavior. We do our best to be mindful of simple things...like...has she had a snack or is she hydrated.
This lifestyle is all new to us. We are learning the ropes of ODD/ADHD, mood disorders, and learning disorders the HARD WAY! By trial and error and I don't mind telling you that we've had A LOT OF ERRORS over the last 2 years! We are slowly digging ourselves out of this pit of despair that has consumed us.
I wish I could erase the last 6 months or so of last year from Amelia's memory.....from MY memory, but I can't. I'm going to have to see it as a learning experience and leave it at that. It is my understanding that her previous school has a new ESE program this year! Although Amelia will never be able to benefit from it now...I'm glad that this improvement has been made. There are a lot of students out there that need this extra help...that need some differentiation of instruction. Perhaps our bad experience will have turned out to be for the benefit of an other's POSITIVE experience! I can live with that.
By the way, I did get an email from the previous school a few days ago...from one of the previous "teachers". While I won't share the contents of the email word for word, I will say that even at this point, the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing over there.
I'm still debating whether or not I should share the psychological evaluation with the principal and the others involved. The psychologist included a few pages after the eval which had suggestions for how things "should" have been handled...or "could" have been handled differently that most certainly would have allowed for different outcomes with regard to Amelia's behavior. These were simple things....things that I even suggested...but were either ignored purposely or were just deemed "not important" by all those involved. It's really a moot point now..."water under the bridge" as they say, but a part of me would like the chance to say, "Hey, I may be just a parent, but I'm not an idiot. Perhaps if we all could have had a more pro-active attitude rather than a re-active one....Amelia would still be here." But alas, I think that's exactly the point! I knew from the moment that we met with the county officials the first time....that they didn't really want Amelia there. Truly. I say this because at one point during that meeting, the one teacher looked me right in the eye and said, "at some point maybe you just have to realize that ACS isn't the right place for you anymore."
This new school may not be the "magic" spot for Amelia. I can't know that at this point. But I know that we are hoping and we are praying that right now...at this very moment, THIS is were God wants us. I'm convinced that He will work it all out in the end as long as we are faithful.
In the meantime, Olivia and Nathan seem to be happy and that's a good thing. For this year, I'd like the focus to be on Olivia as much as possible because this is a big year for her! She makes her First Communion in May! We are so excited!
We are taking one day at time, putting one foot in front of the other, keeping our heads held high! I believe this is what families are for...pulling together and marching forward! Let's keep our eyes on the prize!!