Extended School Year Update

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Jake has completed two days of summer school as of my writing.  By the time I post, it will be three.

As far as what he’s doing, he won’t really tell us.  All he’ll report is that he’s practicing working.  We ask him what kind of math he’s working on, and he tells us his brain can’t remember the math.  We ask him if he likes his new teachers, and he mumbles a non-committal “yeah.”  This is one of those times when it’s hard to draw the border between autism and teenager.  I don’t expect a lengthy dissertation from a fourteen year old, but I would expect a paragraph or two.

Beth had the fortune of running into one of his teachers, who says Jake is doing very well, and that they’re feeling out what he’s capable of.  He has math skills in areas of recall/memorization, and multiplication tables.  What they’re not sure of is whether he can apply his existing knowledge to solve new problems.  Time will tell.

This new set up and arrangement has caused some friction at home.  He’s more defensive and quicker to act out.  He’s not sleeping as well as he usually does, and is more clingy with his mom.  He’s scripting almost non-stop.  We recognize these things as compensatory soothing strategies that he uses when he’s stressed or anxious.  He’s more readily fighting with his siblings, which is making tension high at home.

Positively, it’s better to go through this in July and August than it is to wait until September.  Hopefully after a couple of weeks, he’ll begin to tease out some comfort in the new routine, and the teachers’ newness will start to wear off.  He’s already building some rapport with Mr. Nick, who he says is born in 1957, which makes him 3 years younger than the first Godzilla movie, which is a major historical event for Jake.

That’s about all I have for you currently.  I was hoping to have a more in depth investigative report to offer, but I forgot that I’m dealing with Jake the 14 year old.

Does anybody else use ESY (extended school year) beyond freshman year?  When did your child “age out” if not?  We’ve compromised with Jake about going this year, but he’s become too socially aware to agree to continue after this summer, even though I think he’ll always benefit.

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