For some reason, my brain is just not allowing me to write a cohesive post that makes sense, so instead, I will ramble. Here goes.
*Archie's school situation changed pretty drastically in late July. A few weeks into summer, I realized that he needed something. He seemed to start regressing from the progress that he had made as far as behavior goes, and I started to panic. I was trying hard to provide the structure that he needed, I worked up all kinds of reward systems. But ultimately, at the end of each day, I felt like I was failing him. I wasn't sure what I was going to find for him, but I was going to find it. After an ungodly amount of Google searches, I remembered a place that I had seen at a Special Needs Fair called The Shape of Behavior. Sounded pretty perfect, so I looked them up and gave them a call. I told them our situation and all about Archie and asked if they offered any summer programs. Of course I expected he would be going back to Hunters Creek in the Fall. She told me that they did not really offer programs just for the summer...she explained that they were a year round school/behavioral therapies clinic.
Everything she was telling me sounded amazing. One-to-one instruction from very qualified therapists, individualized programs, constant communication between staff and parents. I finally asked her what the catch was, how much would this cost us. The number she told me made me throw up in my mouth a little bit, and I figured that was that. But then she told me that sometimes people's insurance will cover a good portion of the costs. Surely that wouldn't happen for us, we are never lucky with stuff like that... but I gave her our insurance info and she told me she would do the footwork and get back to me as soon as she knew anything. I was really hoping that this would work out for us, it sounded like it would be the greatest thing in the world for Archie, and all of us. But at the same time I kept telling myself, "it's probably not going to happen, don't get your hopes up." A few anxious days later, I got a call back, and was shocked to find out that our insurance did indeed cover (a lot) of the program. A few weeks and some initial testing later, and Archie was off to his new school.
And it has been the biggest blessing. He is doing INCREDIBLY well. He is maturing, he is LISTENING, he is reading lots of sight words and I know he will be really reading before long. The progress has been amazing, and we are totally noticing it at home. We most definitely still have "moments", but they are few and far between. He won't stay there forever. The goal is to get his behaviors to a place where he can be successfully mainstreamed into a general ed classroom. We are not sure if he will be there just for this school year and next summer, or if he will stay there for two school years. We will have a meeting with his therapists when that time starts getting closer to make that decision.
A couple of days later when it was just the two of us driving in the car, she said to me, "Mom, please don't let Archie get taken away." I asked her what she meant, why would he get taken away.. and she said "get taken back to Bulgaria." Of course I promised her that he would never, ever get taken away, that he was ours forever. I am not sure why those fears all of the sudden crept up in her. Maybe having been to his orphanage, and knowing that he lived in a different place for most of his life, she thinks there is a chance he will have to go back there...I don't know.
Although in our very first game, I convinced Archie to come in just one time. I gave him the ball to start it off, told him to go down the field and score a goal. He dribbled the ball all the way down the field, and somehow, in a string of events that only God himself could have orchestrated, he blew by the other team and kicked the ball straight into the goal. He then stood in the net, looked at the crowd, threw his arms in the air and screamed, "I did it!" He was SO proud. Here he is after his goal.
And maybe that will be the only time he plays this season. These are all learning moments for me, and I am figuring things out as I go. Do we let him quit, do we force him to play? My thoughts on it are, he is part of the team, he chose to join the team, and wanted to be on the team, and he needs to help his teammates. (Oh and he does understand what it means to be on the team, so that's not an excuse). But I feel like it is such a fine line. Of course, I don't want to force him to do anything he really doesn't want to do, but at the same time, I want him to learn that if he makes a commitment to something, he needs to follow through with it. He does enjoy playing, but he just enjoys it on his own time. Like last Saturday, he refused to play at all during our game, but then once it was over, he was begging to play, but I had to explain to him that he missed our game, and would have to wait until next time. That led to a huge "moment" that involved a lot of screaming and a lot of staring. The last thing I want to do is go all Dance Moms on my kids, but at the same time, I want them to learn to follow through with their commitments.
So I mentioned in my last post that I have decided on the direction I am planning on taking this blog. I LOVE blogging. It has been so therapeutic for me, and I really want to keep it up. But I just got to a point where I really didn't know what to write about anymore. The last thing I wanted was to become a "this morning we woke up, and the kids ate a bowl of Frosted Flakes" blog. So after a lot of thought, I have finally figured it out. I am going to keep this blog, same address, same (maybe slightly updated name). I debated on whether or not I should just start a completely new blog, but then I decided that everything here has been a part of our journey. Things can evolve without having to end. So my next post will introduce the newly evolved Eicherumba.
Until then...Lots of Love!