Movin’ on up: middle school

This afternoon was our “transition meeting” for my little guy, who will be going to middle school in the fall.

Wow. My boy is growing up.

Mixed emotions are flooding my brain and heart.

I am struggling with the simple fact that my boy is going to middle school in the fall.  It’s a cliché, but just yesterday he was a baby.  And a cute one, at that.

I am freaking out a little apprehensive about this transition.  I went to a tiny rural high school… only 29 in my graduating class.  He’s going to a suburban middle school with 616 students… bigger than my whole school district (waaaay back then).  The cafeteria at his new school will be like a food court.

On the other hand, I am grateful and hopeful.

Since he will have a “food court” next year, I am grateful that he could successfully go off of his special diet.  He will have lots of choices.

The elementary staff present at today’s meeting said  good things about my boy.  He’s funny…a good kid… hard worker… a talented musician… we’ll miss him.

The middle school teacher and middle school special ed supervisor were seemingly receptive to everything that I overloaded them with threw at them shared with them. I am hopeful that middle school might not be as scary for me for him as I thought. It seems that we’re on the way to being a real “team” in this next stage of life.

Notice I said “seemingly” and “seems”.  I’ve learned that things aren’t always what they seem.  However, I’ve also learned little tricks to help make these IEP teams truly “teams” and not adversarial, as long as everyone is willing to listen and work together.  (I highly recommend Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy: The Special Education Survival Guide. It has helped me immensely! Check it out.)

The secondary special education supervisor said that there will be bumps along the way.  I agree. He also said that we’ll handle them and keep the communication open, and hopefully smooth out those bumps as the year progresses.  I hope, I hope, I hope!

By the way, I let the supervisor know that he’s “dealing with me now,” and that I deal with things a little differently than my husband, who deals with oldest son’s special ed stuff.  I’m more proactive.

According to the staff and teachers so far, my reputations precedes me.

It goes something like this: “She’s reasonable, willing to listen and negotiate.  But she’s also unafraid to fight for her children.” They only have to look in their educational files to see the letters that I have written to advocate for my kids.

I am hopeful, yes I am.  I am proud of my boy.  And I am looking forward to a bright future.

And if those bullies dare bother my son, there will be hell to pay.


5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Michelle on April 6, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    You are so inspirational! Thank you for sharing your insight, wit and humor!!


    • Thanks, Michelle. 🙂 Last night after the meeting I couldn’t sleep… I think I was just overloaded emotionally regarding this transition. Not only is he getting older, so am I :-).


  2. Oh, yes, middle school is probably more anxiety-causing than high school. You sound like you are going into it with your eyes wide open. There will be bullies. There will be mean girls, too. Girls, I think, have been worse than boys for my son. Little female dogs who seem to enjoy moments to “toy” with his Asperger’s. I love that you are ready to be a Mama Bear.


    • My oldest went through the same middle school, so I’m somewhat prepared. Every kid is different, though, so I’m not sure what challenges are ahead. Something I didn’t mention was that the special ed supervisor claimed to be a “worry wart” about the students under his care… I actually found some comfort in that, at least during this stage of the game.

      My cousin told me once that I am like a friendly lion: ready to roar and at the same time “meow.” I liked the metaphor. Of course, this was coming from my cousin, who has 10 cats.


  3. “She’s reasonable, willing to listen and negotiate. But she’s also unafraid to fight for her children.”
    What a wonderful reputation to have!


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