So, today, my program specialist called to talk a bit about next year–how things are going to shake out with my program when four of my kids graduate, whether there are any students coming down the pike for me.
Well, there might be this one first grader.
Okay. Tell me more.
It’s kind of a long story.
Got time. Hit it.
So, he’s this great kid, and he’s been in an SH classroom…
(SH, in the woefully behind-the-times parlance of my school district, stands for Severely Handicapped: kids with significant cognitive and/or physical delays who are in a classroom full of other students with similar delays. )
Okay, SH class. Keep talking.
So, anyway, his teacher mentioned that he seemed kind of, er, high for her class. And the parents weren’t sure it was a fit for him.
Sounds like a good candidate for my program.
Well, there’s more.
So, yeah, they finally decided to do a full re-eval.
And they actually found that he had average intelligence.
Oops. So, not so much with the SH SDC.
Er, yeah. We were trying to figure out how to work it–he didn’t qualify for any special education services anymore, but we didn’t feel right about just dumping him back into the general ed setting.
That’d be a pretty big transition. (An SH SDC typically has 8-10 kids and 3 or 4 adults. General ed? One grown up, 25 kids. I often make a crack about how increased class sizes play out in the early primary classroom: if that many kindergarteners need their shoes tied, there goes your instructional day.) But, if he doesn’t qualify for anything…
Um, yeah, well, he didn’t qualify, but then…
But then he was in a massive car accident….
(A pause from both of us, a few seconds to process. A glance is all I can handle, usually, for the inordinate difficulty that leads parents and kids down the rabbit hole towards my caseload, but I can’t help but register the absolute ludicrousness of this particular trajectory. There are psychologists who spend their entire careers exploring gallows humor as a coping mechanism among people in high-stakes, high-stress jobs and situations.)
Traumatic brain injury. That’ll work.