When you are the parent of a twice-exceptional child, you are always trying to stay one step ahead. You try to enjoy the upward trends when they come; however, you feel as though you have to be prepared for the downward spiral when it hits. Because of this, I think that I worry about the future more than some parents.
My son is currently in second grade and while it might seem strange, I am obsessed with the idea of middle school. The number of students ( possibly 900…yes 900), the 35 minute bus ride (mine has never been on a school bus), the amount of people (both students and staff), and the organization/time-management that is required, makes me question if this is for him. How do I prepare my son for an environment that is so opposite to him. Highly introverted, overwhelmed by stimuli, and socially awkward doesn’t seem to match the typical middle school experience.
To make matters worse, I asked my friendly neighborhood barista about the middle school that my son will attend. Without asking me why I was wondering, she blurted out that the school struggles with over-sexualized students and a raging drug problem. She must have seen my face turn white, because she quickly told me that the campus is beautiful and that the new track is amazing! Oh…that makes me feel much better now. Ugh!!
Don’t get me wrong…I know that he has a few years left in elementary school. He will continue to build both his academic and social skills and there will be a lot of maturing that takes place.
So here are the questions that keep me wondering…
Don’t do anything and give him some time to mature?
Do we start to research middle schools and high schools in the area now?
Do we plan for an alternative schedule that could include homeschooling or virtual classes?
Should we move closer to a well-liked school now, so that he can develop relationships before the switch to middle school?
Those of you that have survived the middle school years (or are in the middle of it now), I would love to know what worked or did not work!
We share those exact questions.
We are constantly educating ourselves to figure out how to better prepare our son and worrying about decisions we make and how they may affect his education, motivation, focus, etc.
I’m so glad to have seen your blog 🙂
I am glad too!
I have a feeling that you might like some of my older posts when things were really intense. When mine was 5 yrs old things were really rough and we had to gain a lot of skills and strategies!
So glad I found your blog – makes me feel less alone. I have two twice baked potatoes at home. Oldest is in 7th grade . I had to pull him out of his big public school after a year and a half of misery – extreme anxiety and depression ( and he is the one who is extrovert sociable and compliant ! Unlike his younger brother. ) I know others who are just about managing with lots and lots of support but middle school is really really tough. My oldest is now at a very small quirky Montessori and is beginning to calm down. We borrowed money to send him and it really was the best decision – his school goes to 8 th grade so I have the same concerns about high school. I am keeping the Option of homeschooling open. I had to homeschool his younger bro for a year he was traumatized by his terrible kindergarten year. Up until then I hadn’t really realized all his issues and then a bad school experience was a disaster – sounds like you are more more on to of things than I was and you are really supporting your son
Rachel-I’m glad that you found it too! Try not to be hard on yourself…2e kids have inconsistencies that are hard to understand. I have been an elementary teacher for 20+ years, but it took me a very long time to wrap my mind around my own son’s “issues” and I still don’t have all the answers! I hope you visit again and read some of the older posts 🙂
Hi Twice Backed
I am in the prepare camp. I think we let things ride for too long. I wonder now whether we should have sent Master Edge to school in the first place. School was so traumatic for all of us. In the end we took the only path we felt was available to us and home schooled him for 3 years. He really blossomed. We were able to gently show him that he was not stupid or “BAD” thus undoing the damage done at school. As he grew in confidence he was more able to deal with the world outside our doors and eventually chose to go back to school, where he is doing reasonably well.
We do not have challenging or aggressive behaviour anymore. I do not worry that he will end up in jail or a mental institution. I do not worry that he won’t suceed in the future. I can see that he will make it.
I think it is well worth looking at how you can alleviate some of the stress our kids feel so that they can develop at their own pace with confidence.
I so appreciate your thoughtful comments and sharing of experiences. I know that is a terrible feeling when you worry about your child’s inability to cope.
We are in an upward trend and I am so grateful!
I know that one of the most important jobs that I have, is to remind him of his great value and to be a refuge from ” out there”
Thank you for visiting!
We found it really difficult to find a middle school that really ‘gets’ 2E kids. We tried the big middle school, but had to pull our 2E daughter out halfway through 7th grade. Their GT program was set up for traditional high-achieving learners. No support for 2E. It was awful. Found a small charter school with lots of quirky kids. Low & high achievers. 6-12th grade, so we won’t have to transition to high school. She has blossomed in smaller classrooms with more understanding teachers. We’re sending our second 2E daughter there next year.
Thanks for stopping by and leaving your thoughtful comments! We are terrified if middle school and believe that the typical set up will not work well. Friends with “typical” kids do not understand our concerns/issues but we believe a different placement will be necessary. So glad that you listened and were aware so that you could help yours and plan for your younger. Individual and Quirky really is thr type of setting that we are looking for :). Hope you visit again!