This time of year is always difficult for my sensory child, now 15. The past few weeks of home school have had me ready to tear my hair out, yet thankful that she’s not in public school. I remember the days of jumping whenever the phone rang. It was infinitely more stressful to have her in public school than to deal with her issues here. That is not to say that I never lay things out for her in straight (sometimes loud) terms.
Last week I had to tell her plainly that I had no patience for her attitude that day. That day, it snapped her out of it and she worked beautifully for the rest of the day. She’s still behind a bit in her work from the one day of school missed for my sister’s funeral – three weeks ago. We home school because it’s a better atmosphere for her. It began because of her teacher’s actions, but has lasted because it’s working so much better.
At home it is: quieter. School was always too loud, even with headphones.
She can switch topics when she needs to. Sometimes she’ll spend two hours straight on algebra or chemistry and some days I have to make her stop and go read her literature – preferably with a cat in reach on a comfy chair.
There is no locker to be frustrated with when the combination just won’t seem to work and the bell just rang and she still needs to use the restroom and the world is just too hard.
Her menstrual cycle hits her with nasty cramps. Here, she can do any reading assignments with a warmed clay pack on her abdomen and take the time needed in the restroom.
No one here picks on/teases/gossips about her. Socialization my aunt Fanny.
I can address the hardest issues about school in general for her because I see her all day. She likes cut and dry, one right answer things. Most days it’s awful to try to get her to draw conclusions, give opinions, make inferences, etc. “No one right answer” seizes her up like there’s no tomorrow. We work on it rather than just mark things wrong.
My sensory issues are no where near as big as hers, but they allow me to empathize with her in a way that someone without sensory issue can not.
I attended every OT session with her and read books on SPD to learn how to help her. Her p.s. teacher just moaned about not having any support.
Home school has no special ed class. It’s just school.
All that said, I worry about life after high school. She’s smart enough to do what ever she wants, but at times like these past few weeks, I wonder if she’ll take on the responsibility for pulling herself together enough to handle the stress of college. Especially since this yearly time of difficulty falls at the time for semester exams. She wants to be a vet and we’re doing what we can now to pave the way (Latin, medical terminology, etc), but what happens when I’m not there for compression hugs, to remind (demand) that she put assignment x down and take a walk/break/switch subjects/whatever and come back to it with a fresh mindset later, etc?
She’s come so far in learning to manage her sensory reactions, and many days show that progress clearly. Other days it feels as if we’ve just started home school and are fighting to get rid of the public school mindset (Mom gets called, go home, situation escaped in the easiest way possible, start over again the next day). I understand that the public school doesn’t handle different well. They aren’t set up to. I still struggle with what happened to DD, but ultimately it was the best thing for her. The school never thought we’d actually stick with home school, but they never listened to the fact that I am a teacher either.
I suppose we just keep marching forward. I have to keep pushing her (lovingly) to face the things that are difficult for her, but necessary for getting through college. It’s hard for both of us. I can admit that while home school has been enjoyable and rewarding for the most part, I do look forward to the day when it is no longer my challenge and I’m just Mom again.