The Summer Camp registration deadlines are completely designed to send someone like me over the edge — someone who continually and irrationally worries about things that may or may not come to pass, driving her husband crazy with her ability to work herself (and him) into a tizzy based on very little information — but a lot of precedent.
The word around town is that if I want to get one or both boys involved in a summer camp, the time to act is now. My ability to do this is complicated by not knowing if either will qualify for ESY services until their May and June IEP meetings. You’d be surprised to hear that I’d rather pull out my toenails than pick up the phone and just ask (see above). But I did, at last, because who is their #1 advocate? And my husband begged me, and because — my god, why shouldn’t I be able to do that. The general consensus is that John will most likely get ESY but that Sam may not. (ESY being granted only “if skills acquired during the school year could be lost during the break”).
There is a whole other tangent I could go off on here — how there’s a listserve for parents of kids with special needs in our county and how I hear — daily — about the angst that others are going through RIGHT NOW with respect to services for those kids. Sometimes I feel like I’m biding my time in line, waiting for the school district to come right up to me and say “Your turn! Screw you and your special needs kids. No, you cannot ask for ABA (or speech or what-have-you). We are out to get you.” But I’ll save this tangent for another post.
So ESY is just four weeks during the month of July. We are flanked on either side by three vast and vacant weeks with No Order. No Structure. No Routine. While that is manageable for Sam, it is unprecedented for John and has kicked the Worry Mom into high gear. Do we want to see him stop singing the Backyardigans song? Do we want him to build on the latest flurry of words yelled out: ball, snowman, foot? How can I live without the amazing eye contact, still fleeting but so beautiful?
I’ve now logged dozens of phone calls to different speech and language camps, OT camps and sensory integration programs. I am shocked to learn that most require a hefty screening fee just to meet us whether they accept us or not. I am discouraged to learn that there doesn’t seem to be a camp suitable for where John falls on the spectrum — all require a certain verbal ability that he has not mastered yet. So it looks like we are going to set up another home ABA program to fill in the gaps while Sam goes to a camp in the mornings.
I’d start worrying about how we’ll pay for all this, but this Worry Mom knows when to shut down for awhile.