Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Back to School Anxiety (Mine)

Tomorrow is it. Michael will be going to Middle School. A new school, a new schedule, a new set of teachers. A new routine for the whole family.

And then there are the anxieties of a mom of a Quirky Kid (good book). To keep Michael focused, he has to take ADHD medication. Which not only focuses him, but also focuses him so much that he gets OCD about various things. He tends to think in black and white terms, while the world around him is gray. He is funny and intelligent--sometimes qualities that get him in trouble, since he doesn't always understand appropriateness in situations.

Back to school time for me involves thinking about strategies for keeping my son on track and focused on his homework at night after he has spent all day staying focused. It includes every other Tuesday night taking him to behavioral therapy. Note writing to teachers explaining how my son thinks/works--helping them try to understand him and help him learn. Meetings with teachers, phone calls in the middle of the day concerning behavioral issues. Worries about teasing and fitting in and friendships.

The good news is that I have seen Michael mature along the ardouous journey of elementary school. I know there are many obstacles in his way, not the least of which is puberty, peer pressure and PILES of homework. But I also know that he can meet those challenges, and that I am ready to help him in any way that I can.

Ok, Middle School...we are ready! (be gentle, please!)


Miss K said...

I can feel your anxiety! Reading that post made me fast forward to a day when I'll be doing the same with Luke. I know that Michael will do great especially with parents that are such wonderful advocates. Lots of love!!

PaleMother said...

Ug. You are farther along this journey than I am. Liam is in second grade. His teacher sent home the standard ... "Tell me about your child ..." form and I filled it and then some. The whole time wondering if I am not planting seeds that will skew the way she reads him in an unhelpful way. We did the ADHD scales last spring ... he was "just" borderline, but his teacher and Mike and I were worried that as academics ramp up, it may go from a learning style characteristic to something that seriously impacts his ability to thrive in the classroom.

As I am sure you know, "fit" with the teacher is huge. Last year was a brilliant match, but every year there is suspense on this point. The previous year's teacher usually has input about placement, but there was upheaval in the 2 grade teaching ranks this year, so I'm not sure she had a say. And that worries me. Teachers either connect with Liam (and great things happen) ... or they complain about him and it's no fun all around.

Hope you guys have a great school year. I'm cheering for you.