School ended last week. I thought it was scheduled to end this week, but instead it ended last week, meaning that we lacked child care for this week, since camp doesn’t start until next week. Of all the weeks to lack child care, this one wasn’t so bad. The weather was nice, I have a super flexible job, and C was lined up for a series of DOE Evals that I wanted to be on-hand for anyway.
Even thought C goes to a Catholic academy (this is what’s replacing the parish schools in Brooklyn, and they’re pretty cool), the DOE is still highly involved in the developmental life of every student in the district. CPSE is a program designed to assist children who have trouble in a variety of areas, and provides free physical, developmental, speech, occupational and/or special ed sessions to any student who qualifies. How does a kid qualify? Through a series of DOE evaluations. It took a while to get an appointment, but once we did, the process has moved pretty quickly.
C’s teacher recommended a few months ago that he be evaluated. There’s been some classroom issues this year, things we don’t see at home simply because he’s not surrounded by 17 other kids, and she thought he could use some extra help to adjust to school requirements. After flagellating myself with mantras such as “I’ve failed my child” and “I’m a shitty parent,” I tucked aside my inadequacies, realized this was not about me, and got the process set up. First, the child is evaluated to see if he qualifies for the evaluations, then the specialist evaluations are set up, after which those specialists recommend that the DOE provide services. The DOE then makes a determination, sets up a meeting with the parents, and then either approves or disapproves the services, after which, if approved, it takes some period of time to set up. If that sounds like a long, convoluted process, well, it kind of is. But the people I talked to at Special Sprouts, the evaluation center recommended by our pediatrician, were thoughtful, efficient, knowledgeable, and kind enough to make this all way less difficult that it could have been.
We had the first set of evals on Monday, after which the additional evals were approved. Today, we had both of those approved evals, and heard from both specialists that they would be recommending that DOE provide services. There’s a thing about C’s privacy here, so I’m not going to go into too many details about what has been recommended. But what was interesting to me was that, aside from the physical therapy, the tendencies that are being addressed are those that his father and I, respectively, have been inclined toward as well.
Things like how to focus when there’s lots of other stuff going on, how to not get frustrated when a thing is initially more difficult than we’d like it to be, how to transition from one thing to another without losing steam or getting annoyed, how to follow instructions without bucking against the intrusion, how to actually listen, comprehend, and restate without it taking every last iota of concentration to do so, how to not let an emotional reaction take over…
These are things that took me from kindergarten to grad school to figure out, and my kid is going to be able to tackle them before pre-K even starts. That’s pretty amazing.