Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The PPT

Yesterday was our Son17's PPT for this year. He is wrapping up his sophomore year in high school and heading into his junior year. And we faced a very tough decision.

Son17 may be able to attend college when he graduates. We would like that to be an option for him if he is capable and if he so chooses. But he struggles so much with executive functions around organizing and managing materials and information. He is also still immature socially and emotionally. So how do you make school just a bit easier and also give a kid a chance to grow a bit?

We decided to extend his high school to five years rather than the traditional four. As some of you may know, kids with special needs are entitled to attend school till the age of 21. Well, he won't be there that long. That would be six years. But we hope the one extra year will spread two year's worth of credits out over three years and make it much easier for him to manage the work load.

But what a brutal decision! To alter the course of your kid's life in that way is not an easy choice. We spent a lot of time talking with different folks who know Son17 and/or who have a lot of experience in special education. We also spent a lot of time discussing it with him before the meeting, discussing options and making sure he was not so opposed to the idea that it would seem like a punishment of some type. But surprisingly, he was all in favor of the idea long before I became convinced. He really wants to make good grades and feels the lighter course load will make that much more likely for him.

We're keeping our fingers crossed for just such a result.

25 comments:

Chicky Pea said...

(((((((((HUG)))))))))) That is wonderful that he was so onboard with the idea. I don't think you have anything to lose by playing it cautious. I think it will be a much wiser decision than potentially rushing things and having a negative outcome. Good luck!

Oh, The Joys said...

That sounds hard, Em. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you too.

Best,
OTJ

Thomas said...

It is great that he was onboard with this.

Decisions like this are tough for kids and parents.

I sit in on too many spec ed meetings of this sort where parents and kids both have no clue.

Good to see folks paying attention to their kid's needs.

Big Brother said...

Good luck to him and to both of you. Education is the ticket no matter at what speed you do it at. :o)

EsLocura said...

The fact that son17 thought it was a good idea makes it all worth it. It's a groovy thing that he has parents that care enough to be informed and open minded about his options and his future. You made a tough decision from a loving heart.

Melody said...

It's great that you care so much (and Son17 for that matter) about his grades and schooling. There would be so many parents out there who wouldn't give a hoot... Well done.

Teena said...

Sounds like you made a wise decision.

Kismet said...

Our large extended family is leaving Fri for a 5 hour drive to watch my nephew graduate after 5 years. He is not learning disabled, he just messed up his life. So his parents sent him to boarding school far away from the influences that got him into trouble and now here he is in the graduating glass of 8! We are so proud of him, mostly for just sticking it out. He has a fantastic job with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife waiting for him this summer. How wonderful that your son is on board with the idea. That will be a big sigh of relief for you. And you know, 20 years from now (or less) no one will remember how many years you spent in high school.

Didn't mean to hijack your comments.


~K!

Bardouble29 said...

I must say that ever since I started reading your blog, I have had a soft spot for you and your son. One of the very first blogs I read was one about your son, during the christmas season and how hard not knowing about his gifts was on him. That post lodged you and your family into my heart. (You are one of my very favorite bloggers, shhhh don't tell no one...LOL).

Reading this, I want to commend you on being a great parent. It takes so much to step back and see the whole picture. I know this had to be a very hard decision on your family.

HUGS to you.

Winston said...

It is strange how we often worry and fret and scheme and plan on something involving others, especially kids, only to discover that they are fine with it. Sometimes I wonder if it was our worrying with it that somehow magically brought them around.

I echo what everyone else before me has said... you are a tremendous parent and your have a tremendous Son17, evidenced by the way you communicate and care for each other. Congratulations on another small victory.gcdat

Mom not Mum said...

That all sounds like it will work out well. I love it when I am all stressed about some change and how it will effect my children and then they just look at me like "duh mom - that's part of life!" He sounds like a great kid!!

Pendullum said...

Fingers crossed...
I think the fact that your son seemes to be on the same side as you, makes the decision a whole lot easier...
It would have been a whole lot harder if he felt punished...

meno said...

PPT? I know it doesn't stand for PowerPoint. Sorry for the ignorance.

But it sounds like you all made the right decision, together.

Em said...

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to offer such supportive comments. You guys are great.

Kismet, you didn't "hijack" anything, you just added to the conversation!

And Meno, you are right, PPT does not stand for powerpoint. At least not in this instance. My apologies for slipping into special education terminology with no explanation. PPT stands for Planning and Placement Team and is the meeting (usually held just once a year) where the school and the parents review a kid's progress, go over any standardized or psychological testing, discuss issues and concerns, and establish the IEP. That is the Individualized Education Plan for the next year with goals, strategies, modifications, etc.

MarmiteToasty said...

(((Em)))) wonderful wonderful parent you are to an amazing son17..... so great you are both on the same track :)...

x

Beth said...

good for Son17!!! A positive attitude is half the battle, and as long as he's on board and WANTS to succeed, well......good for him!

I know that must have been a rought one to make too, but you guys are fantastic parents, and you took his wants/feelings into consideration too. congrats!

dawn said...

Thank you for your comments. Funny you finding me because I have a child in special education and am I understand your decision perfectly. I left my son back in the first grade even though he was promoted.As his mother I knew he could not handle moving up.It was the best decision I made. I am sure your decision will be the right thing. If you have any questions don't hesitate to e-mail

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

I know you did what you thought was best.

Dorky Dad said...

That must have been a tough decision, but it seems as if he made it a lot easier on you ... and he also seems pretty well committed. He'll do great.

CS said...

Good decision, and a nice display of wisdom on your son's part. He could do the same thng with college, too.

Kati said...

(((((HUGS))))) to you & Son17. As hard as we know it is, it appears he's conscious of his needs enough to feel better about that one additional year, as well. What a choice to be made, huh???

Thanks for your support over the same issues in my life, Em!

Jenster said...

Hm. I thought I commented on this post the other day, but apparently not.

Anyway, I have nothing new to add. It's so hard to make these types of decisions for our children, but it sounds like you and your wife made the right choice. Especially since he's on board with the idea.

Jocelyn said...

Your decision has not been lightly made, and therefore you shouldn't keep questioning yourself about it.

Even based on this post, I feel pretty sure that you're doing the right thing.

Keep this in mind, too: kids, even teens, don't grow up and always wish their lives had unfolded differently; to a large extent, we all review our early lives with a "Well, it's just how it was" attitude, right?

Your son's life will be the way it was. He won't use this as weird ammunition against you in the future when, er, you refuse to pay for his wedding reception at the mall's food court.

kj said...

hello em. i come to you from cs' blog. your son is lucky to have wonderful parents. the decision sounds hard and sound!

em, i want to tell you i am with you on cs' post about her snake.
yuk.

:)

creative-type dad said...

Wow, that's tough.

You guys know him better than me, and I'm sure you've put a lot of though and energy into it.

Best of luck!