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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Summertime School

Janey is now going to what we call Summertime School, and what is officially called Extended School Year, or ESY. I was reading a little about the laws pertaining to ESY. It's required to be offered to kids at substantial risk of regressing during the summer, which is certainly the case with Janey. We are lucky in Boston that it's offered for 6 weeks, 5 days a week, 5 hours a day. The law doesn't require that much, and I know from talking to people in other parts of the country that some places have only a few weeks of it. It's going well so far. I like Janey's teacher, and she also gets to see her ABA specialist, the same one from the school year, and a few kids from her school are also in her class. Janey is eager to go each day. I think she truly needs the structure. And I know I need the break. The thought of a summer without some program, as was the case until last year, is very hard to imagine.

Although I haven't seen Janey in her classroom environment, it's interesting to see the kids when I drop her off or pick her up. All the kids in her program (as far as I know) are autistic. It's like seeing a world where autism is the norm. And it's making me realize that I think Janey is tougher than most kids with autism, at least in terms of being emotional and moody. The first day, it took a long time to get all the buses there, and the kids had to wait outside a long time. Janey was actually very good that day, but I was figuring a lot of kids would have a hard time, and I didn't really see that. Most were quiet, most didn't seem to answer when asked questions, but I heard only a few crying. So far, I haven't seen a lot of kids trying to run away, or making loud strange noises, or yelling things, all things that Janey does regularly. That's not to say they don't, but I thought seeing around a 100 autistic kids at once, you'd see a lot of it, and I haven't. That was a little eye-opening. There is hardly ever a moment when we can say Janey is truly being relaxed and even-tempered. She is often happy, but a loud happy, she is often sad, and a loud sad. Sometimes she does zone out, but not long enough so you can relax much.

Aside from summer school, our summer has been okay. We are keeping Janey busy, and so keeping ourselves sane. Regular school starts in about 2 months. Not that I'm counting.

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