Well, we made it. School is officially done for Mary. As of Thursday, Mary "graduated" from Elementary school and is headed to Middle School. Almost. Instead of holding a ceremony, the fifth grade class had a big "Survivor" themed party. Complete with challenges, contests, and of course, cupcakes. What an ironic theme for me. My first thought as we got down to the last few days, was "wow, I survived!" This year has been full of challenges for both Mary and myself. Mary, I believe, is the clear winner. I would have been voted off the island a long time ago. These last couple of days, I have been reflecting on our Public School experience, and although I have more than my fair share of complaints, I can think of a few positive aspects as well. For one thing, Mary has been "officially" labeled as being on the Autism Spectrum, meaning, we have a diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome. This is supposed to give us the highest scholarship funding. We are still waiting for that to be updated. Either way, she is going to a private school, and we will pay whatever difference. Another thing that has been validated for me is Mary's ability to learn. I was struggling with what type of school would be best for Mary. Do we put her somewhere she can get just the basics of daily life, somewhere less stressful, easy, or challenge her academically? Clearly, she needs the challenge. I now know, I cannot short change her. It doesn't matter what they say about IQ scores, I believe, if a person is unable to effectively communicate either verbally or in writing, than that score can be different. Do I think she is a rocket scientist? No, but I do believe there is more there. There has always been a huge gap in her test scores, which has made a diagnosis difficult. I believe, that this is the area in which has yet to be discovered. Mary is going to surprise us all one day. It's going to all click for us one day, Mary, of course would have known all along.
As I stated, Mary is almost headed to Middle School. After a few short days off, Mary will be headed to Summer School, at Kaley Elementary. Mary, of course, qualifies for the extended school year program. This is wonderful. I struggle every summer with keeping her busy. I also try to keep her academics up, which, she adamantly says no to, every summer. Now, I get to send her to school, to the teacher she loves, with no test, or homework pressure, and she will continue to hone her skills. Oh, and there is breakfast and lunch involved. And it's all free! Gotta love that. We do have Friday's off, so I am going to try to make those days fun for her. That will be a whole other post. Stay tuned!