Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Like a Punch in the Stomach

I guess in the grand scheme of things, it's really not so bad, but given the cloud of unreality my family seems to float in, this was reality knocking hard.

This week if school vacation for the public schools. The boys had vacation during Passover, so they have school. And their school also runs a Vacation Camp, for ages 4-8. Which Sofia is attending, for the second year in a row.

We learned last year that it would be wise to have a dedicated Aid for Sofia, since she is so comfortable with the building (and with walking away). Co-incidentally, a high school student from our synagogue was looking for volunteer work last year; the match was perfect.

But last year Sofia was much less active and much less willful and MUCH less stubborn.

So This year, not only is R doing the Aid bit again, but we also have some former students (my friend's daughters, who now are in public school), helping out.

Yesterday, they only lost her twice. She's very small, very fast, and very agile.

Apparently, today, the two girls together (ages 11 and 15) could only barely handle Miss Sofia. Sam said they enlisted him and his friend A quite a bit during the all-school events.

Sofia is a Force Of Nature, to be sure. She is a whirlwind of activity, and when she sets her mind to something, no amount of discussion is going to dissuade her. And she loves that school and that building - and knows every nook and cranny where she can fit her athletic little body.

Sofia was exhausted when I picked her up at 3:00 (neither of us had slept all that well last night, due to pollen allergies). So I got her settled in the car, and we picked up Micah at 3:15 to race off to an appointment (Sam stayed for tutoring; I had to come back later for him).

As we were pulling out of the parking lot, I was flagged down by our Recruitment director, who is also in charge of organizing the Camp.

"We have two teens for Thursday, but Sofia is really a two-man job, and we only have one on Friday. Do you have anyone you could bring in?"

Oh, I know they WANT her there. But it took my breath away, to confront the DIFFERENCE between my daughter and the other kids. And this includes at least two other 6 year olds with Autism, who do NOT have their own Aids (but both of whom I had to stop from leaving before their rides picked them up today).

After many flustered phone calls, we finally got someone - the college student who volunteers in Micah's class. I think Sofia will be much happier; apparently she was also not so pleased with the 15 and 11 year olds bossing her around. When I picked her up, she demanded our sitters, E and A (both graduating college this year [yikes!]). Reports are than any time a grown-up was in the area, she would stand next to them instead of by her teens.

But it made me frazzled. I mean, I handle her by myself every day. I KNOW she is tough. But she's not impossible. So I mentally realize that we've set the situation up for failure, putting these young kids in charge of her. The 19 year old who is the assistant director did much better with her, but had many other duties to attend to.

Ok. I've vented. I feel a little better. And the situation is ok. We're covered for the next two days, then she goes back to school. And we have "Behavior" as a whole page on her IEP!

Today was also busy because I had a hair appointment and then had to race into Brookline for a funeral. My friend's mother-in-law passed away, the third in a string in that family (her brother last year at this time, and her father 8 months before that). So sorry for that family.

I'm surrounded by children right now, which is not so good since it's 8:28 on a school night. GET TO BED!


Sharon said...

Oh I can so relate to this post! I have a runner too, who is also very determined, strong and stubborn!
Wishing you all the best.