July 28, 2011

Tearful Goodbyes for Hunter

Today is Hunter's last day of speech with Ms. Reagan.  In the fall he will be zoned for a different school while his brother will get to stay with the teacher they both know and love.    Ms.  Reagan has been so wonderful and our super shy guy has really come out of his shell in her classroom.

This morning, when he realized that today was their last day together, he cried at the breakfast table.  He pulled out his markers and construction paper and made her a card.  On the front he drew himself with Ms. Reagan and surrounded it with his hearts that look like little floating rear ends.  What we all thought was a random letter s, he tells us is the lines that he cuts with scissors in her class.

He opened it and asked me to spell the words for him.  We spelled her name wrong.  Hopefully she'll just assume that was him and not me :)  He was so emotional over this card and wanted to pick all the right words.  It's breaking my heart.  I think the rest of our day after school  will be a wash.  We'll probably just lay around in a lump of emotion and try to just get through until bed time without any major breakdowns.

As for next year, Joe and I are going to try and have the final decision making talk tonight.  We've met his new teacher for next year 2 or 3 times now and she talks to me, she talks about him, but she never so much as looks at him or acknowledges his existence in the room.  Seems really impersonal to me.  I know that when I was a teacher I would have said, "Well, hello Hunter!  I can't wait to have you in class next year!" Or at least some kernel of reassurance for the tiny little soon to be kindergartner that would be in my room.  But no.  Not even eye contact.

While the boys were in class yesterday, Hannah Jane and I did math in the darkened hallways of an almost abandoned school where only the speech kids occupy rooms and otherwise there are only janitors and maintenance people running around getting ready for fall.  It just so happened that his new teacher for next year was visiting and doing assessments in the next room.  Between bouts correcting Hannah Jane's use of the Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally mnemonic device, I listened in on her interactions with her student.  They were short, clinical, and to the point.  She seemed to correct this boy the way I would correct an adult that I didn't care for very much.  The boy left the room with a cup of candy and a terse goodbye from his teacher.  It was not encouraging.

Our other option for fall is for him to enroll in part time on-line school (which is what we really wanted to do) and have him receive his speech services via a Skype like service called e-lluminate classrooms.  Plus, he's on the wait list to receive speech services through the university.  But that is expensive.  If he makes the cut and our insurance will cover it, we'll be all set.  But we need to decide now if we want to chance it with the cold woman or chance it with online services.  Both seem like a risk.  I'm almost more willing to risk online than a teacher who makes him feel bad about himself.  He's so sensitive as it is that I feel like he'll only progress and learn if he's made to feel super good about himself and nurtured by the people in his environment.  But Joe gets a say in this matter too.  He was in speech as a kid so his feel for what Hunter needs may be far more relevant than my own in this area.  But we need to decide so that we're not stuck with something because we missed the enrollment deadline for the other. 

So today is a day for goodbyes and decisions.  Ugh.  I hope we choose the right path.  Wish us luck!


  1. Hunter's card is so sweet! The situation makes me want to cry too. I'm sure you and Joe will find a good solution for him.

  2. I hope so. Thanks! I'll let you know what we go with!


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