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!