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Something Went Wrong

My son wasn’t even in pre-school when I first suspected something. The combination of an astute day care worker and my own experiences with my first cousin led me to have him screened early. I’ve never cared what label was applied. The labels are meaningless. My son is not a label. Unfortunately these descriptors are necessary in order to get him the services he’s needed. And modifications. And adaptations. His first two years in St Paul’s early childhood special ed program were just the thing. But when it came time for kindergarten we weren’t offered enough support. He was just going to be tossed into a classroom with 30 typical kids and one teacher. Nope. So I found a great charter school. It wasn’t so conveniently located to our home but we made it work. When our time there ended we made the messy transition back to public school. His charter school IEP was written in a way that made it difficult for his new school to interpret. But they tried. And they worked with us to re-write it. And he made so many gains he was moved out of an autism-only setting to general ed classrooms. Fast forward to this year. I made the choice to move us to another city - and a new school district - for high school. It seemed like the best choice. Closer to his Dads, a school with a later start time and a good reputation, within walking distance from our new home. But it’s been an anxiety-filled obstacle course trying to get my son the help he needs. The staff seem overwhelmed and the program understaffed. It’s hard to strike the balance of advocating for our kids without turning the educators against them and making a bad situation worse. Recently I met parents of other students in the same autism program and we have similar concerns, so we are voicing them together. Hopefully we can collectively make some positive changes for our kids.

Five random good things on this gloomy Monday:

It’s nearly October. My son’s Halloween costume is coming together nicely. Now I need to think of one for myself. Or a group or themed Halloween costume, which is something we try to do annually at Clockwork. For some reason my son’s school is closed on Halloween so I’ll have to convince him to come to work with me during the day to see everyone dressed up. And that night I’m actually going to a show. Generally I don’t go out on Halloween. I like to stay home and hand out candy to the trick or treaters. But seminal shoegaze band Slowdive is on tour and playing here for the first time in forever so of course I picked up tickets. And only realized what a nightmare the Warehouse District is going to be. On a Friday night. That is also Halloween. Groan.

Artist-Designed Mini Golf at the Walker Art Center

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