Tomorrow morning is Gavin’s first day of Speech Therapy and I am very very nervous. Most of my worries seem fairly trivial, but I think all of them together are ganging up on me and multiplying the butterflies in my stomach and the shake in my voice.
Gavin doesn’t do change very well. If he’s changing classrooms, or a teacher is on vacation, or something in his routine is different, he tends to panic…and then act-out inappropriately. But as long as we know there’s going to be a change, we try to prep him as much as possible, and try to adapt our disciplinary tactics to take in account the change that is unnerving him. Obviously we still discipline him and we still make sure to follow-through with consequences, but we also make sure we acknowledge his fear/concerns.
So tomorrow instead of getting up and dressed and out the door by 7:30am with Justin to go to school, he will have to wait around until all four of us go to our local elementary school (new building) at about 9:15am (new time–believe me, this matters, too), he will meet a new teacher, we won’t be able to go in the classroom with him (like we did for most of his testing), and there will be a handful of children in the class (he always does better one-on-one, and is shy around new kids, too). And since his ST lasts until 10am, by the time we get him to school, it will be well-past breakfast and even snack-time (he has a bad day if we get there after breakfast is over, even if he’s fed beforehand). I’m hoping that having Cooper with us will help because if Gavin helps drop-off Cooper in his classroom, he seems more at-ease if there’s a change in his routine.
We’ve alerted his teachers and the assistant director, and I also told the Therapist (since the file she got only showed a cooperative kid in a one-on-one situation…didn’t want her to be surprised by tears and carrying-on and such). I’m sure some of this behavior may be tied into his delays…I’m sure completely new surroundings are very daunting when you might not be able to fully understand what is going on or what is being said, or cannot make yourself understood easily. I also suspect some of this anxiety is probably coming from me. For my entire 6th grade year in an entirely new school, I had panic attacks prior to arriving at school. It got better the following year and thankfully didn’t come back in high school.
But I fret more for my little boy. I don’t want him worried and scared, even if this is important for his social and educational development. And I’m confident, like the educators that evaluated him, that once he’s comfortable he will respond well to therapy and may be nearly up-to-speed by the time he starts kindergarten next fall.
In the meanwhile, hide all your chocolate, Buffalo Bleu chips, and Gatorade.
p.s. did you see this?