An educational deconstruction...with a little chocolate sauce on top.
Sunday, November 04, 2012
I started this post last week but haven't had the energy to finish it till now.
From Thursday 11/1/2012:
If you heard a large SPLAT today, it was likely the sound of my heart breaking once again for our child. Nine years ago we started a 529 savings account specifically for his college education. We figured it was the smart thing to do at the time, and we were fortunate to have a gift from my grandmother to start off a nice account for him. We find ourselves several years later coming to terms with the fact that we have no need to save for his college education. He's not going. Ever. It's done. Over. Here are a few data points to demonstrate that I am not selling my son short with the words in the preceding paragraph: He is 11 years old. He does not have the knowledge, skill or ability to pass kindergarten this year. He had three years of preschool that ended in 2007. He had a half-year of a self-contained kindergarten where he was the most compliant, quiet kid in the class and yet learned absolutely nothing. That was five years ago.
Since then, thanks to intensive ABA therapy, he has made a great deal of progress toward gaining independence, but none of these newer skills relate to any scholastic goals beyond age 3. He can feed himself, bring his plate to the sink, brush his teeth, go to the bathroom independently (about 92% of the time), and can respond to simple yes/no questions. He understands most of what we say, and fortunately he's just about the kindest, most honest, most patient person you'll ever meet. We're thankful for the therapy; almost lost that in a medical review by our insurance company, but fortunately they granted us the funding for another six months. Better soak up that therapy real well there, Buddy, at least till next April. No worries, we'll just cash out the 529 and use that money to pay for a few more months worth of therapy... Suffice it to say formal education is just one more dream we're simply needing to delete from our minds. Easier said than done. I have a Ph.D. in college, for God's sake, and my own kid won't complete high school. It's a very different view of the world, for certain.