Let the Change Begin. I received word today that RJC will start her new program. Tomorrow.
I went into her room and sat down on her bed to tell her the good news. I sat with her and watched as she struggled to understand what this meant. She had been asking to go back to her old school and though I told her she was "too big" the problem was that I had nothing to substitute for her old school because I did not know when she'd start her new program. I just told her, "Play with mommy." For a girl who needs and insists on structure (and by structure I mean a detailed schedule of her day), this was not good. So I sat with her as she typed away on the calendar in my iPhone, and I could literally see her coming to the understanding that she was not ever going back to her school. She asked about September and when I told her "no more school" she gave a pretty good screech. It was a struggle for her to understand and it was truly heartbreaking to watch her come to terms with what I was telling her. It made me angry that it went down this way when there really was no need to put her through this had The System worked.
I'm not sure how The System, that works with such a vulnerable and complicated population, can fail this badly at a transition that occurs for so many kids-turned-adults every single year. It seems to me that at this point in time there should be a seamless procedure in place. Nothing should be left for the end of the year. All of this paperwork should be completed by June 1st. Actually, for RJC, there were no changes after her meeting in May so why not automatically take care of the paperwork then? I didn't even know there was paperwork to be done after that meeting! I truly understand that everyone is overworked and overloaded at the end of the school year, which is exactly why this should all be done as soon as possible after a placement is found. This experience has affected RJC emotionally and I can only hope she finds a way to process it all in a calm manner.
It is my very deepest hope that we are moving forward from here. That this is our one blip in the screen for a while. What did I learn from this? I can see that I have a great deal to learn about The System. But guess what? The System has a great deal to learn about me.
Let the Change Begin. For RJC and for me. Not only is RJC making her change from school to adult day programming but I hope to find a way to change The System. Reminds me of her younger days. Looks like I have a new unpaid part-time job. Again.