My Little Grownup Boy

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Jake remains stuck in that weird place.  When I wrote that, I meant developmentally, but I suppose it works for him physically as well.  The teen years have been bittersweet for him.

Today marks the first day of his last extended school year program.  This used to be called summer school, but I guess the political correct police caught up to it.  He would certainly benefit from ESY every summer, but he refuses.  Going this year has been a compromise.  You see, he starts high school in the fall, and is now a big kid.  His ESY is always held in the school he attends, which has been the middle school for the past four years.  This is his first experience as a high school student.

This is his first day with new teachers, in a new setting, working on new material.  Instead of trying to keep him from backsliding over the summer, this year we’re pre-teaching him some of the things he’ll learn in September, to give him a “leg up” on the rest of his class.

Beth had to go to work (attached to the high school) at 7:00, but Jake didn’t need to be there until 8:00.  The original plan was for Liv to bring him up to meet Beth.  He bitterly decried this, saying how big he was and that he didn’t need his little sister to bring him.  We decided that Beth would meet him in the parking lot.  He did NOT want to have to knock on the door to her job to get her.  She HAD to meet him.  He also didn’t want to walk into the high school and find his teachers alone.

It’s that weird place where he’s too little to do things independently and too big to let anybody help much.  I’ve begun telling people that he’s physically our eldest child, but emotionally our youngest.  He wants the freedom to go ride his bike when and where he wants, but still asks to get “tuggled” into bed at night.  It’s tough.

I think a lot of today’s struggle has to do with the nervousness of it all.  He doesn’t know what to expect.  He isn’t comfortable with the staff yet.  He has been transitioning to the high school for a few months, taking part in the band practices and things, but this isn’t with his band mates, and it isn’t with the band director.

To complicate things, the teacher he was supposed to liaise with was late, so he had to go with someone else.  Beth didn’t know who was supposed to be there, so hopefully Jake didn’t either.  Unlike some of his peers with autism, he picks up on chaos readily, and the fluster of his morning will no doubt have repercussions.

It’s too early to say how things went, but I’ll fill you in later on once I’ve had a chance to talk to him this evening after he’s digested his day.

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