Extended School Year dissapointment + Kennedy Krieger Update

We had my daughter enrolled in the ESY (Extended School Year) as her teacher suggested that it would be ideal for her to have 1 month of summer school so that she does not lose her skills that she developed in the 2014-2015 school year. The 2014-2015 school year was very difficult. My daughter was 3 years old at the time of enrollment into the PEP class. She was sent over to a class that was not structured so she had a difficult time following the rules. We would get numerous notes and heart wrenching emails regarding how difficult it was for her to concentrate. Barely a month into her first school experience, my husband called me and told me he is headed to the Emergency Room because something happened to our daughter. I was terrified and nervously asked what happened. My daughter had thrown a tantrum in school and bumped her head accidentally and had to get a few stitches. Later on, the teacher for that specific class suggested that our daughter gets transitioned to a more intensive class that has more structure and routine. I was really upset! I really wanted the current class to work but my husband asked that I remain open minded.

We were then introduced to my daughter’s current teacher. (I will call her Angela for purpose of the blog) Two words I can say that summarizes her is “God Sent”! Angela was one of the first people who saw what I saw in my daughter- potential. She did not let the reviews of the other teacher hinder her from doing her best for my daughter. When my daughter transitioned to her class, the annoying emails and notes of how my daughter acted up stopped. I was shocked. Was she NOT giving us feedback because she was afraid of how we would feel? We had a meeting with her and an opportunity to observe our daughter and it was night and day. The reason we were not getting the annoying emails and notes is because my daughter was thriving. My daughter loved the routine and she became fully potty trained in like the 1st month (we had been struggling with some potty training accidents here and there). When the school year ended, my daughter had met all her IEP goals and this is when the teacher suggested the 2015 Summer ESY. The only thing is… she will be going to a different school for the summer. I voiced my concern that I am afraid that another teacher may not be able to effectively handle my daughter. Angela asked us to give it a try.

Now exactly 2 weeks into the 2015 Summer ESY, the class my daughter is in got a substitute teacher. We got a 1 page letter in her back pack yesterday that was really disappointing. To sum it up, it said 1 positive line, “She is a sweet girl” then this substitute teacher dove into explaining what a “difficult” day my daughter had and that she chose not to participate in a lot of projects. In the end of the letter, she stated that she hopes we can effectively prepare our daughter for a more successful day. When I read the last sentence, I walked over to my husband and told him that it would be a good idea for our daughter to remain home. I can’t begin to understand how we can “effectively” prepare her for a better day. I felt that as much as her letter was carefully written, it was laced with a callous undertone. I handed my husband the letter and as he was reading it, I told him that I refuse to go through what I went through in the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year. I also told him that I am anxiously waiting for my daughter to be in class again with Teacher Angela in the 2015-2016 year.

On a good note, yesterday I spoke to Kennedy Krieger and we have an evaluation/ appointment for the end of August! I was very nervous about the evaluations because of the possibility of a diagnosis. Right now I know she has speech delay but for them to possibly come and now definitively add another diagnosis, I don’t know…it sounds like I will be letting go of the hope that my daughter has a mild and moderately “easy fix” delay. Whatever the outcome, I know that the plan God has for my daughter is for prosperity.