School for Zookeeper is going well. So well, in fact, that his special education teacher asked if she could move his writing help back into the classroom, as opposed to taking him out for it.
Also, he actually told me he likes being there again. I can’t even tell you how happy I was to hear that from him.
The only academic obstacle he’s encountered so far is anxiety over tests. Severe anxiety. I believe he has PTSD, so that tests take him right back to last year. He opened up to his teacher about it, though, and they’re working on it. They will tell him when a test is coming in advance so it won’t catch him off guard. He will also get to take short movement breaks and ask for a scribe or to answer questions verbally.
Since academics are on track, Zookeeper’s primary issue right now is Lamb.
As I said in the post about Zookeeper’s first day, Lamb and Zookeeper started out sitting next to each other, but were separated the second day.
No less than three further incidents happened over the course of September:
- Lamb began unfolding paperclips and throwing them, pointy part first, at Zookeeper. I asked if the teacher had seen it: yes. I asked if she had done anything about it: Not that Zookeeper saw. I asked if Lamb continued to throw them after that: No. I then explained to him that I was sure his teacher did something to stop it, otherwise Lamb would still be doing it; and that she might not be able to tell him what she did for privacy reasons, but that doesn’t mean she did nothing.
- Zookeeper let us know that, while they had been successfully separated elsewhere, Lamb continued to sit next to him in PE. I emailed the special education team to ask that they be separated in PE as well. I had already asked that all of his teachers receive the All-About-Me page I sent in regarding Zookeeper’s strengths and needs in school, but the principal told me she needed my permission to send it to the specialists (PE, music, and library teachers). I gave it. The next PE class, the teacher looked at Zookeeper and said, “Want to move?” He nodded gratefully and escaped from Lamb.
- A week or so after the paperclip incident, Lamb was moved up to the front of the class. Zookeeper told me he was upset about this because he could see the back of Lamb’s head and it made him anxious to have to look at it all the time. I told him I thought it was actually a good thing. If he could see the back of Lamb’s head, then Lamb couldn’t throw things at him without advance notice because he would see Lamb turn around. Zookeeper said, “Good point.” He hasn’t said anything about it since and he’s gone on to a completely different subject in therapy. I’m taking that as a good sign.
The other day in PE, when the teacher wasn’t looking, Lamb sat next to Zookeeper and whispered, “I hate you.”
Zookeeper said back, “Then why are you sitting next to me?”
Yep, things are looking up this year.
GO ZOOKEEPER!! And go you for advocating for your boy so he has a much much much much better year!