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A lot of uncertainty

By Darcy L. Fargo

Darcy Fargo

Sept. 1, 2021

It happened almost overnight.

My son, Jake, is 14 years old. Though he’s still growing, he’s already taller than my husband. He’s going to be as tall as me very soon.

In addition to rapidly changing in height, other things are changing with Jake, too. His child-like voice has been replaced by a deep, manly voice. He has the faintest hint of a mustache. Also new… he’s starting high school this year.

As I’ve mentioned before, Jake is on the autism spectrum. Up until this point in his academic career, he has had a one-on-one aide helping him maintain his focus and attention in his core subjects – English, social studies, math, science and Spanish. After making honor roll third quarter of last year and just barely missing high honor roll in the fourth quarter, my husband and I, along with Jake and his educational team, decided to allow him to try navigating his coursework alone, with the exception of math and science. Jake also asked us to remove language requiring that he get extra time to complete his tests from his educational plan. He indicated he didn’t use the extra time last year, and he has no intention of using it this year.

While I’m incredibly proud that he’s advanced in his capabilities and worked very hard to succeed academically, I’m also nervous about how he’ll do without that support person keeping him focused and without those additional accommodations. I know we can re-open his educational plan if there’s a problem, but I’m still uncertain if we did the right thing.

It seems like uncertainty is all around us this school year.

In addition to the decisions we’re making about Jake’s education, we’re facing another year of education during a pandemic. Will the schools be able to continue offering in-person instruction every day of the week? Will they be safe from the virus? What are the impacts of the educational upheaval we’ve experienced thus far? So much uncertainty.

Despite the uncertainty, I have certainty, too. I’m certainly thankful for the individuals who help educate my child and all our children – the teachers, administrators, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, aides, janitors… I’m certainly praying they all are given wisdom and strength as they navigate another challenging year. I’m certainly praying for a great school year.

Please join me in that prayer.

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