Now, what do we do with our little Lucy? That is the question of the day. Little Lucy is very bright, but sitting still in school and focusing on what the teacher is saying is hard for her. She did OK until October of 2011. Then she had a terrible reaction to a DTaP and now she just has a hard time in school. To make matters worse, the school she goes to is very standardized test score driven. The kids are all "yes sir" "no sir" and are quiet until spoken to. It is in this type of classrooms, where the children sit and listen, remembering all they have heard is where our little out spoken Lucy, who has her own thoughts, has problems.
It is obvious that our current school situation isn't going well. She can't focus enough to do the same work as the other students (she is learning though - but that is because she is just so dang smart). Sitting in her seat while a teacher reads a book is beyond her self control. She tries - she tries hard - but every day she comes home in tears because, "I just couldn't do it." This school is not the place for her.
So today I finally took a tour of the school her therapist and everyone at this current school keeps telling me I should send her to. It is a private school about 10 miles from here. Everyone keeps telling me it is designed for "kids like her". I read the reviews of the school - a Christian Based school that uses the BJU homeschooling curriculum. Parents who reviewed the school spoke highly of it. Grades are combined, usually two grades in each room. That isn't an issue since the max class size varies from 6 students to 15. I put it that way because the grades are designated by levels. Level one is for the lowest functioning students, Level two is for mid level students, and level three is for the highest level of student. The level one classes only are allowed 6 students per class. The administrator was very nice, really seemed to care about his facility and the students that were there. It was honestly just a small building at the end of a strip mall.
Sounds great so far - right? It actually seemed like a good facility - but I don't want my Lucy to go there. Why don't I want her to go there? Every child in that school had some level of developmental delay. To walk the 20 feet to the bathroom the kids had to hold on to the rope so no one got lost. Even the level 3 classroom, the highest functioning classroom, isn't on grade level with other schools.
I don't know, maybe I am just fooling myself. I am not blind to Lucy's "issues". I do see her problems with focus, and as much as I hate to admit this - I am taking her in to see if we could try her on some ADD/ADHD medications to see if that would help her. I know her half dozen diagnosis - I know what they mean - but when I look at my Lucy I see a bright, funny child who, in the right school setting, can go off and do anything with her life that she puts her mind on doing. When I look at Lucy I see potential. I don't see a child that needs to be sent to a special school designed for kids that can't do normal school work.
This is, in my opinion, the hardest part of parenting. Making decisions that could effect the course of their life. If she needs this school and I don't send her because, I don't know, maybe I am too proud to think that my child fits in with those other children, and she just stagnates at regular public school, self-esteem falling, falling behind academically because it just isn't the right place for her - this is going to effect the rest of her life. If I do send her to a school like this - what will her future be? Am I fooling myself and blind to what Lucy really needs, or do I see the real Lucy and I just need to keep pushing for her future in the public school system. . . .
I hate this - but I love my little Lucy.