Sunday, March 25, 2012

Conversations with Kelsey: revealing shades of gray

My Kelsey has most vehemently informed me that she does NOT want to go to ESY this year. Apparently, as the weather improves, like most kids her age, summer vacation is on her mind. Add her black and white reasoning, and UGH!

What is ESY? I promise, it's not torture.

It stands for Extended School Year, and is something that many kids with ASD are eligible for, via their IEP's. It translates ( for us) into an additional month of half-days ( morning to noon) of instruction during the summer. Teachers quiz their students post Winter holiday break ( do you love how PC I made that statement?) to see how much their student has retained. Students who lose skills qualify for ESY services. And it's fun, generally set up like day camp, with plenty of opportunities for fun and outside play.

Up until now, this was something that Kelsey looked forward to. Not so much anymore. She wants to go on vacation, play with friends at the pool, and take day trips to the beach.

"Mom, my friend Genivieve doesn't go to ESY! Why do I have to go?

"Because your teacher and I think it's a good idea."

"Well, I think it's a STUPID idea!"

I've leaned to pick my battles, (for the most part.). I know when my black and white thinker is on the warpath, it's not the time to try to reason with her.

Tonight, in the van on the way to pick up my husband from work, Kelsey wanted to talk incessantly about a music video...a conversation we've had over and over. She perseverates. To break this broken record cycle, I told her that that particular subject is over.

"We're going to talk about things that make us happy."

*crickets chirping*

"OK...I'll go first. Bunny rabbits make me happy. And kittens. And puppy kisses.
You see those pretty flowered trees over there? They make me happy."

"And singing."

"Yes, Kelsey."

"You know, Mommy, I want to be a kindergarten teacher with Genivieve when I grow up."

The moment I was waiting for...

"Kelsey did you know that teachers have to go to school for a long time to become good teacher?"


"Yes, really. And going to ESY helps you to be a better student, which would help you be a better teacher. What do think?"

"I guess..."

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