A few weeks ago the Nerd and I met up with all of the Beast's teachers to discuss his IFSP (Individualized Family Service Plan) for the upcoming year. I came prepared with a whole list of questions and things I felt our Beast needed to work on. Overall, the meeting went very well, especially since his teacher was new and really didn't know a whole lot about our son yet.
One thing that was especially concerning to me as a teacher is the fact that Davey does not have the hand control to make a simple line or circle on a piece of paper. When instructed to do so, he makes barely legible dots randomly on the paper and then gives up. At four years old, he needs to have this very basic skill in order to start learning how to write the various letters of the alphabet. I am hoping that the ideas the teachers came up with will help him gain the control he needs to master these simple skills.
However, near the end of the meeting, I was feeling pretty good about the direction David and his special education would be taking this year. I just had one more question for his teachers. I knew that this special class he currently attends is only for children age five and under, and I wondered what was going to be next for our Davey. Should we be preparing him to try to attend a "normal" kindergarten class, or would there be a special needs kindergarten class available for him if he needed it? When I presented this question, all the teachers looked at me blankly. Well of course he would be headed to a regular kindergarten class, I was told. Why would I think David needed to go to a different class? I was surprised but said simply that I was not sure based on his autism diagnosis of the previous year. At this bit of news, the teachers just stared at me. Get this - not one of his teachers was aware that David had been diagnosed with high-functioning autism! Granted, they had all noticed that he was a little "off" and thought perhaps he had an attention deficit disorder, but none of them had ever been informed that David is indeed autistic. I was shocked - somehow the information had been lost from point A to point B, and while his teachers have accomplished some amazing things with him this year, I wondered what more could have been done had they known the proper diagnosis??
So now we are facing yet another set of evaluations and tests for David within the next few months. I am so glad I asked that question, and yet I am concerned about what is next for us. Lately our sweet Davey has been having a lot of "sad days" - days in which he has meltdown after meltdown and sits and mopes in a corner for hours. These days are usually triggered by some sort of change - new teacher, new Sunday School class, baby coming, etc. Two of his good friends from his class will be moving up to the integrated class this fall, and I wonder how David will handle it.
Still, despite the worry and anxiety for my little guy, I know that a God much more powerful and greater than all of this is "handling it." He gives us so many promises in the book of Psalms:
"Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD." (Psalm 27:14) And what about "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go; I will guide thee with mine eye." (Psalm 32:8) We are beyond thankful that our almighty God is traveling this way with us!