Of course, there is always a catch. Ever since we have started the parenting class and the therapy with Iris we haven't received any positive feedback from Iris's teachers. In fact, the only feedback we receive is negative in nature. This part is frustrating for two reasons, the first of which being that OHMYGOD WE ARE WORKING SO HARD! and the second of which being that we know her behavior isn't 100% bad at school, but that is all we are hearing about.
Today a teacher approached me about a situation and wanted my feedback on ways to deal with it. Of course, I very much appreciated being asked, but unfortunately my response was: I have no idea what to do.
All of the work we have been doing at home, for some reason or another, doesn't sound like it is translating to what Iris is doing at school. Or maybe it is, but I'm not hearing about it. Who knows. I don't really know what to do about it. At home we talk about situations that might come up with her friends, we brainstorm how to offer compliments and how to deal with difficult situations (for example), but brainstorming isn't really "the real deal". Once she is at school she is out of my direct influence. I'm basically all but banned from being in the classroom, which is extremely frustrating in itself, so I can't go in and observe or shadow Iris or help work on her behaviors from that angle.
The other thing that is difficult is that Iris has basically no playdates. I used to work hard at setting these up for her, with little success in getting something worked out and, when I did, pretty much zero reciprocation, so the process got old and, well frustrating for me. But that is really MY issue, and one I will have to work on once again when we start homeschooling. What this means, however, is that I have extremely limited opportunities to work with Iris and her peers. I am seriously considering signing her up for a group that is strictly for kids with social issues so they can be guided through "playdates" by trained professionals and all work on their social skills together. The one I am looking at is crazy expensive (only $56 an hour!) but if it helped, it would be worth it.
I believe I have written about it here in the past, but my biggest concern with Iris homeschooling used to be that she wouldn't have that daily interaction with the same kids to work on some of these things. I have zero concern for her ability to get the proper education outside of a traditional school setting, but a heavy concern for getting the right kinds of opportunities to work on social skills. I have to say, though, that as this year has moved on, I think that the best thing for Iris is to have a great deal of direct supervision on some of this stuff. There is no classroom in the world that will give her that kind of attention, so hopefully homeschool will be the answer to that. I guess we'll see, right?