The TRANSITION Meeting

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“I’m not putting any offers on the table, but I can tell you right now – since your son is still in a diaper and has a 1/1 aid in his current school setting he will be offered some level of support when he transitions to Kindergarten.  Thank you for coming.”

And an elevated hand showed me the door.

I stood there for a second, unsure what to do.  I looked around the board room of school transition professionals with their laptops open.  They were looking at their screens, their watches and began making small talk with each other.  I looked at the extended hand and the door knob I was supposed to grab, turn and open.

 

My appointment to talk about Declan’s transition to Kindergarten was at 2:00.  This was the first meeting to discuss what services will need to be put in place for him in his new school setting.  And here I stood at 2:20 looking at a door handle.

Had I said everything I needed to say?

Did he realize he was talking about my son, not a used car?

Did they all realize how important this meeting was to me?

Did they all know I had trouble sleeping the night before the meeting?  That I was having a hard time concentrating on anything else right now?

Could they hear it in my uneven voice?  The concerns I had?

TRANSITION

For the first time ever Declan is excited for a transition.  And I am sitting with my hands over my ears with my eyes squeezed shut, wishing the whole idea would just go away.

Declan is doing SO WELL at his preschool.  He is happy.  He is cooperative.  He is hitting less.  He is trying to learn.

And he is going to take the next step.  KINDERGARTEN.

Declan is excited to go to a new school.  He is excited to go to the same school as Catelyn.

Does he realize his teacher will be different?  The other students will be different?  I’m not sure.

I had taken notes of things I had wanted to discuss.  I had tried to make sure I had painted a very accurate picture of Declan before a team went out to observe him in his school setting.

I have concerns of elopement.  Of him hitting or hurting another student.  I am concerned he will be teased. That he will be stressed.  That he will become UNHAPPY.

In short, I am scared Declan’s emotional, physical and educational progress to this point will halt.

But the meeting moved so fast.  Questions came at me so fast.  I did not get to look at my notes.

So I did the only thing I could think to do.  I turned and addressed the room one more time:

“I guess what I am trying to say, is that in the right environment, with the right supports we see what Declan is capable of.  When you go to observe him, please recognize that you are seeing a child that has been in this same classroom, with the same teacher, speech therapist, occupational therapist, 1/1 aid for the past 3 years.  He is doing VERY well in this environment.  You are going to see the best version of Declan.  Please recognize that when his environment changes, he may struggle.  But when all the right supports are in place, you will be able to see what he is capable of.  Thank you.”

“Of course” and “Thank you” hit the air, and I turned the handle that had waited so patiently to leave the room.

I got to my car and sat for a moment.  I took a deep breath and calmed myself.  I realized that none of us in that room knows what is going to happen next year.  Given one support or 10 different services, we won’t know for sure all that Declan will need until he starts.  I must believe we all want the same thing.  For Declan to be safe.  For those around him to be safe.  That learning will take place.

And of course, I hope everyone will be happy.

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21 thoughts on “The TRANSITION Meeting

    1. I had to keep telling myself, “they care, they care, they care” just for reassurance. Because I sure wasn’t getting a caring vibe. Just hoping for the best! 🙂

        1. Thank you! I am such a laid back person that I usually just go with the flow. I am finding I am wearing my “gotta fight for what is right” pants in this situation. Hopefully, I will keep wearing them! You are so kind, thank you so much!

  1. Transitions are the worst aren’t they? When Ben had to leave his preschool, which he loved and thrived at he was placed in a mod/severe K/1/2 combo. We met the teacher & went over all our concerns. He did (still does) elope from the classroom, he hit etc. He also made friends & continued to learn.
    He was supposed to be in that class thru 2nd grade but the teacher left after his K year. He had a different teacher for 1st, then she left. Then for 2nd grade they moved special Ed to a different school.
    Then 3rd grade put him in a 3/4/5 class with another new teacher. There were so many problems we had to move him to a different school in November. He seems to be doing better. It’s a magnet school for music & art so the special Ed kids get to participate with the gen Ed kids in all the music etc.
    ALL transitions are hard for Ben but I’ve found that I build them bigger in my mind with my fears than they turn out to be.

    Whew…long way of saying, hang in there mom! There may be bumps but you’ll help him get past them.

    1. What a road you and Ben have traveled! Great to hear that he is doing better in his new school. I think I may be doing the same thing – Identifying every worst case scenario. Thank you! You’re right – I will!

  2. Prayer is all they left you with! Pray that your son will suprise the heck out of you by adapting to his new environment smoothly. Pray no serious injures will happen on his firdt day, either physically or emotionally.

    Will he be riding a bus to school, or will you be taking him? If a bus is involved, you will have to meet the driver to make sure he knows about your son’s challenges.

    The list goes on.. and on…

    Good luck!

    1. I agree – lots of prayers to be said! He will be riding the special needs bus, which has an aid (and hopefully they will be strapped in) but your right! Whole lot of explaining to do. Thank you!

          1. I am sorry. It must be hard being so far from your daughter. I am sure she finds your calls and communication valuable and appreciates all you can do!

  3. Talking about your son and not a used car. Yup! I remember meetings about my son ( who did not have autism but was just a very bright and very obstreperous child) and that is just what I used to think. He was not just a trouble maker or a “lemon made on a Friday” car. You are doing a great job for your son. My hopes are with you for as smooth a transition as possible.

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