The school year is winding down. Three and a half more weeks left. Two more Mondays. Sixteen more wake-ups. Most kids are excited for Summer’s arrival – the release from routine, from the classroom, from homework. For my neuro-typical kids, the excitement is palpable. All the fun stuff is going on….end-of-year performances, 6th Grade Greek Olympics, Portfolio Presentations, softball against the staff members, parties, lunches, celebration.
For E, there is anxiety, fear, and sadness. Change in routine is beyond difficult for him. And he will be leaving a classroom he has been in the past two years. He will have a new teacher, a new classroom, a different desk, different classmates next year. He is anxious about leaving the teacher who has understood him so well, encouraged him every step, kept him in line when he was going sideways, and allowed him to learn and grow in his own way.
As at the beginning of the year, his behavior has regressed. There is much more whining, fussing, lashing-out. He is defiant. He is oppositional. He does not want to go to school. I try desperately to maintain my composure and be patient, knowing exactly what is going on. Added to the usual end-of-the-school-year anxiety is the stress for him of knowing we will be traveling much of the first month of Summer. He is not good with travel. As much as we try to build it up, ease his fears and concerns, and micro-manage, he is anxious.
The next three weeks will have their highs and lows. This morning was just the first reminder I need to work hard to keep it together for him, and that he will always see it in his own particular way.