School was not an easy thing. When my son was first diagnosed, they provided him with a tutor at home, which was wonderful. He actually ended up getting a very well suited tutor– she was a special needs coordinator, so she had already dealt with special needs children. Mentally, he didn’t need that, but it was helpful because of his physical needs. This tutor came to our house and she was great. He ended up being promoted into eighth grade, and he actually received the faculty student of the year award, which showed me that the teachers and staff did care a lot about him and did see the effort that he was putting into his schoolwork, even though he was at home. During eight grade he was in school for a couple of months, then out of school for a couple of months, then in school for a couple of months… and it just fluctuated as we were learning the medications and trying to strike a balance with them. But he did get promoted again–he worked really hard and continued with the same tutor off and on and he was promoted to ninth grade.
But being home affected him socially, and in ninth grade things stayed the same– he would be in school for a couple of months, then out of school for a couple of months. The winter is always the worst for him; according to his doctors it is for a lot of people. For some reason the winter months seem to kick the illness right into high gear. So that winter we sent him to a vocational school, thinking a trade school would be better for him because he was so sick.
I thought this was going to be a good experience for him because he would be able to learn a trade such as electrical or air conditioner refrigeration, where if you don’t feel good one day you can stay home. Or I thought he could learn to be something like a computer tech, where he could work from home. I thought that would be better physically for him. Well, it was the wrong decision. They were very concerned with him being in school and learning the trade, and they weren’t able to accommodate him in his academic education. But they also couldn’t accommodate him with the vocational aspect, because you need to be in the building, in the different shops, to learn a trade. So he ended up staying back in ninth grade.
He tried ninth grade again, but got really, really sick again and ended up losing another whole year. He basically lost two years of school, and the school ended up saying that they could not accommodate him anymore after that. They said he had to go back to the high school in our city. But because of the vocational aspect, he did not have enough educational credits for the local high school to promote him, so they wanted him to repeat ninth grade again.
So he’s supposed to be a junior this year, and they wanted him to be a freshman again. So he quit. It’s something I’ll never get over. But now we’re trying to motivate him again. He just painted my bathroom last week. Doing nothing is not an option, so he’s been doing some landscaping for a friend of ours, and he’s going to go clean my mother’s oven, things like that. So that’s where we are right now. But he’s healthy, he’s feeling good, and he’s got his sense of humor back.