Our friend and supporter, David, continues to share Becky’s story:
Our entire family rejoiced at the moment when Rebecca moved into high school. I remember everyone’s excitement at this significant passage, and Becky was as excited as anyone. I was fortunate enough to attend the new student orientation evening program with Becky and her mother. What a great moment as Becky took in all of the changes that were about to begin in her life. A new building, new routines, and new faces all caused Becky both an exuberant excitement, and some anxiety (to put it mildly), thinking about all the changes, especially a new teacher.
Becky is not unusual in the fact that she likes routines. We all love our routines and find a level of panic when our routines are interrupted (at least I do!) Of course, the staff at the high school seemed to be anxious as well as having a Becky in the school would require some enhanced attention as to how to best serve Becky’s educational needs and acclimating Becky into the high school environment. Given Becky’s colorful behavioral past was going to require some creative planning.
Becky would go through multiple trial classroom settings as she made her way into high school. Her first was one that was disappointing to her family, and to some extent to Becky as well. With that said, Becky also was quite happy at the first plan developed by the high school administrators, they would have Becky spend at least half of her day back at her middle school, working with her middle school teacher. Who wouldn’t love to go back to old routines with familiar people who knew Becky? The biggest problem that developed was that Becky was back to doing things that she had already mastered, without increasing the academic expectations. Becky’s afternoons in the middle school became a time for Becky to work in a kitchen environment. Becky soon realized that she was not expanding her learning and as is typical when working with students with significant disabilities, she was experiencing the “housing” practices that occur to students like Becky. It seemed that the initial plan for Becky’s secondary school career, was to simply house her in a place that she could ride out her high school years. This was not acceptable to Becky’s mom and her family, and eventually with much pride, Becky found her returning to her middle school class was not meeting her needs. And again, when Becky is unhappy, everyone is unhappy!
The stories seem endless as Becky has grown up, and I have much more to follow…until next time!