Sunday, June 12, 2016

Grappling With Our Reality

I've been concerned about not having a school plan for the kids come fall. With two of the girls going to Peru and one going to California for college I knew we had to come up with a plan. The options are super limited. And it seems even thinking outside the box was not really turning up any ideas. I wanted to go explore the idea of public school for Missy.... It's not as if she would be set free in the crowd. She requires full time, one-on-one pretty much, so I figured checking out what they would offer was a sensible thought. My husband was not ready to make that step. His concern is that everything we are trying to teach the twins regarding the principles of the Bible and his efforts to draw them to spiritual things would be lost by the influences. It's a real possibility. They have no natural inclination towards spiritual things. James is not resistant, and seems to enjoy his Bible lessons, but you know, he's super drawn to swearing and negative talk and the media culture.

We drove out to visit a small private christian school that takes a few special needs kids a year. It's a boarding school and no question, the kiddos are nowhere near ready for that. It was a very good visit, though. We learned a lot. We got a good outline of what needs to take place for James to someday qualify for the school. (I don't believe Missy ever will qualify). It's an absolutely beautiful place out in the woods. I was totally impressed with the program.

The visit gave us a springboard to talk through some things and we came to the conclusion we needed to visit the public school and see what they would offer Missy. Somehow, I had been told, or got the impression that our middle school did not have a self-contained room, but they do. This next year there will only be three other kids in that class. As I talked with the special ed directors they offered to tailor the program to fit her needs. They practically offered the moon. I was so, so relieved, and Steve, too. I realize that in the end we might not get the moon, but it's a good place to start. They are willing to work her in slowly if we want, or full-on, cold turkey. They will have a team meeting with me and her and work out a plan in August. We are completely satisfied that Missy's needs will be covered. Hey, they even have a little kitchen in that special ed room to teach the basic skills of cooking. Nothing makes her happier than baking (food) except swimming!

James would not qualify for this set-up. He is making advances. It seems slow, but suddenly taking note (and yes, comparing the twins!! 😱😰) the ever widening gap between the two proves he has potential - lots of it if we can just nab it and make use of it.  Our trip down the coast with just the two of them in the backseat for hours at a time gave us a window into some interesting dynamics.

I had filled out the Young Disciple Camp application forms for the twins. We did not tell the kids that we were applying for them to go. Lots of the friends from church go to this camp and it's all that kids can talk about sometimes. The twins have begged to go, but I have never given them any reason to hope. My daughter and her boyfriend will be counselors there. Vanessa and I talked about it and decided that with them there if something were to go awry there were people there who understood them and could deal with them until I got there... So I applied. I got a call from the director who knows our story. After chatting with him I pretty much decided to withdraw Missy's application and to pray about James' some more.  Somehow, Missy got the idea that I had applied. She started whispering to her friends that she was going to YD and everything. Then after the call she said to me and Vanessa, "have you heard from YD yet?"  I told her I had and that she was not going. This has been an obsession of hers and that was a devastating answer. She did not cry or scream but argued vehemently her cause. We had to end the discussion. Yesterday at church potluck she came to me greatly agitated. She said, "I told Joyanna that it is better to get an email from YD than to get a phone call. It is so unfair!!! I want to go....." She got all worked up and was trying to argue her case again. I have to somehow get through to her the futility of these arguments. She's not ready for a week  at a Bible camp, period. How to get that across to her, I have no idea. She spent the rest of the time going from person to person trying to arrange playdates and inviting herself over to other peoples' homes.  She was intense. She makes people feel obligated. Most did not take her seriously, thankfully, but one family - where the mom just found out she has brain cancer, did. I need to call them and explain it is not her place to arrange these events and it is NOT their responsibility to have her over.

I'm seeing I have a child with a real intellectual disability that is going to become a very real struggle for people to be willing to be around. She is going to make herself unwelcome and annoying everywhere she goes. I don't know what to do about this.

James on the other hand listened to all the discussions on YD and never said a word. He's waiting for me to decide to tell him if he is going or not. He knows that we are working towards taking him on the mission trip to Peru, he knows his twin is not going. If I cannot find someone to take her for those ten days then I will not be going either. I can't ruin the trip for everyone else because of her. Ah, she seems so sweet and innocent to the uneducated eye, but we are turning a corner where that is not the case anymore. She's demanding attention and asking for time and energy that is not hers to ask for. I am at a loss.

So, we have not solved James' school needs yet. He's big into sawmills right now. He saw a sawmill on our trip. Then we went to a museum and he got interested in the big blades and old photos. Now he's playing "sawmill" and "logger" in the yard with a pile of sticks and building lego sawmills. I am rewarding him with a few minutes of old history sawmill youtubes now an again and he's eating it up. Maybe with her out of the house I could homeschool him? I don't know. I'm nervous about the idea.


. said...

Wow, this is so hard. Praying for you. Hugs

Anonymous said...

Can you get some respite to give you a break? You don't seem to like Missy much anymore which she must be picking up on.
She sounds incredibly intense-I think you deserve some time off.
Or alternatively if you can get away for a few days yourself?

Julie said...

I can't promise you will get the moon with Missy, but our school district here is incredible with special kiddos. People move here for our school. Praying you have the same situation there.

Kelly said...

I understand the education struggle with special kids. I hope the public school plan works out for Missy and I know that through much prayer you will come to a place of peace about the right thing for James as well. I will be praying with you.

. said...

What a struggle. Praying for what's best.

Emily said...

I don't know anything about your school district, but our school district promised us the moon for Kate, and they delivered. They gave us the moon and she has thrived. I pray that this will be just what you need for Missy.