The best thing about having caller ID on my cellphone is knowing when the kids’ school is calling. It lets me know if the call is worth interrupting a meeting or other important task. The worst thing about having caller ID on my cellphone is knowing when the kids’ school is calling. My stomach drops a little. Which one is sick? Which one is in trouble?
The guidance counselor called me on Thursday. She didn’t say fast enough, “This is a non-emergency call.” Instead, she began by asking if I’d ever gotten results from any evaluation of Mae, any diagnosis, anything? My first thought was “What the heck did she do? It must be really big this time.”
It turns out that there was no problem. The guidance counselor and principal had been reviewing all 504 plans (a plan that outlines accommodations for students with disabilities) and realized that they didn’t have a written plan in place for Mae. I still asked if there were any recent concerns or incidents (the teacher had brought none to my attention). The counselor wasn’t aware of anything. She was requesting an evaluation report to see if there were any recommendations the school could implement to help Mae and her teachers. I thanked her for asking for the report, and doing so in the absence of any current problems. She said that she would look at the report, write a plan, and email it to me.
I was satisfied with the accommodations and supports the school provided last year (e.g., the counselor deep brushing Mae and having lunch with her and other kids to practice social skills, and reading and spelling pull-outs). It’s a private school that is not required to provide a 504 plan. However, if the administration is willing to do more, I’m all for it. I emailed the report from Mae’s neuropsychological evaluation to the guidance counselor on Friday morning. I recall discussing the Asperger’s diagnosis with the counselor and principal, and the counselor was correct that we’d never gotten as far as formalizing a plan. I wanted to hold the full report close to my chest out of concern that it would overwhelm or alarm the teacher and/or counselor, as some of the challenges, such as difficulty with handwriting, had not become an issue yet. While I have long thought that the school is a safe place for Mae, I have trust issues with regard to the Asperger’s label. I don’t want it be something that is used to hold her to lower expectations or to view her as a “problem child.” The counselor’s call had a genuineness about it that makes me feel that the school may be even safer than I thought.
I’ve read some parents’ horror stories about the difficulties of getting schools to even meet to discuss an evaluation report, much less take it seriously and implement the recommendations. So, once again, I feel fortunate to be a part of a school community that is open and willing to even engage.
On a less happy note, I received results from the aptitude test that Mae took last month for the Center for Talented Youth’s online courses and summer programs. Her scores were not high enough to make her eligble. I’m not sure how I feel about that. Part of me thinks that she wasn’t ready, I hadn’t prepped her well and I didn’t like the way the test was proctored. Of course, when you think your child is awesome, it’s hard to accept anything contrary to that. We have the option of retesting, which I’ll have to think about some.
But not today. It’s a Supper Club day, and I’m not hosting. Yes! Fun, fun, and more fun and all I have to do is show up hungry. Life is good.