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|Thu, 07-22-2010 - 8:04pm|
DS15 (has PDD-NOS, manifests mostly in processing disorder) and DD14 (over achiever who used to have APD) both got in to the same magnet school. Actually, DD got in first. DS was wait listed. DD was offered to advance to 9th grade last year. We said no, but she took a half schedule of high school courses so she has 5 credits. DS and DD will be in 3 of the same classes plus a half credit the same (for a total of 4 classes the same). I mean, same courses, I do not if they will actually get the same exact class time. But, it is a very small school with only 40 students per grade.
DD is very conservative and does very well in school. She works hard and never gives anyone any trouble. She always does extra credit. Despite what others like to think, this does not all come easy for her. She was born hearing impaired. It took 2 surgeries to correct it. The second surgery was at 4 years 4 months old, so she was barely speaking then. At 8 years old, she was diagnosed with auditory processing disorder. She has worked hard to overcome it. She works extremely hard on homework, does it right away, and does not stop until it is all done and done well.
Meanwhile, DS's initial diagnosis was ODD (oppositional defiant disorder) and ADHD. Now his DX is PDD-NOS. His processing score was very low. I am suspecting that rather than having ODD (he is not in your face, he does not back talk, he is low key) he just does not "get" or comprehend that when he is told to do something, he really needs to do it. Consequences do not seem to phase him. We have had problems for years where he would be assigned something and never do it. We would tell him to do it and he would lie and say he did it, when he never did it. Even if we checked his work, we did not always know what to look for so he was able to put it over on us. When he attended private school this past spring, they quickly figured him out and were able to straighten him out. I do not know that he figured that he cannot misbehave so much, but they did keep him under a tight rope that he could not manipulate, so that was it. That is what he dealt with. And once he got with the program, he got through fine. He proved to us he could do it. Or at least, he could do it once he knew he was being closely watched and could not get away with it. In the past, when he did things wrong, when I would discuss it with him later, he would admit that he did it because he thought he could get away with it.
SO, DD has had to live in his shadow for a long time. She has had difficult times in the past when she got a same teacher or same classmate, because they would make remarks that she was his sister and then went on about what they thought of her brother. Plus, he was bullied a lot in the regular public school and some of that went over to her, a lot in fact. People who bullied him figured they could, upon meeting her for the first time, start in on her.
This school is different. They say they do not tolerate bullying. I know all schools say that, even the ones very very tolerant of bullying (which I think is most schools) but I have heard from other parents and students that they are serious about keeping bullying out. Most of the students there are transfers either from a private Christian school that shut down, or from home schools. It is a high school only.
DD is afraid that she will just be in his shadow if he goes there. She is tired of not being able to just make a name for herself. She is also afraid that if he does something he should not do, she will be blamed or given a hard time for it (has happened before)
DS really wants to be there. If he does not go there, he will home school. Because the school is so small, I do not think they could honor a request to keep the kids in separate classes, but I could ask them to try. But regardless, they will still see each other a lot. It is a small school. Think 40 kids per grade, 4 grades only. That means 160 kids total. I suspect there might be less in the upper grades just because they do not take 1st year students to the 11th and 12th grades.
I am already worried that the school will not be a good fit for either child. My experience with homeschoolers in our area (everyone can be this way and we have been homeschoolers for a long time, so this is not just about homeschoolers) can be quite cliquish. They tend to not want anything to do with people who are not affiliated with their specific church. I am afraid that might happen.
So, opinions? Thanks!