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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Sibling Age Gap

When Joe and I started talking about when to try for a second child we envisioned having them relatively close in age. While the age gap between them isn't that large (4 years 7 months to be exact), there are times I wish they were closer in age; like now that Lucas has started school.

I thought it would be nice for them to grow up going to school together, but that's likely not to happen beyond elementary school.

Because Lucas was born in February he didn't start school until this year; because Kayla repeated Kindergarten she is in 4th grade this year, otherwise she would be in 5th and this would be their only year in the same school.

I know that students with disabilities can stay in school until they are 21, or maybe 23 in some states, but I don't know exactly how that looks and I know each state does things differently.

Does that mean when they are 18 and a senior they walk across the stage w/the classmates they've been with for 4 years and then return back to their high school to do it all again with the next group of seniors? And then do it again after that? Or do they just walk across the stage the one time with their classmates but keep going back to school for the next 3 years? To do what? Take all the same classes? Go to another separate part of the school to work on life skills? Take 3 more years for a job-type class? I have no idea and I haven't looked too much in to it since things could be different by the time Kayla is in high school.

But right now I don't want that for her. I don't know what it will be like when she's in high school, but I don't want her to go through the motions of walking with her class at age 18 and then just continue to go back to the school for the next 3 years. I don't know what all the answers are though.

IF she does do something like that, then I guess it would be possible for she and Lucas to be at the same high school at the same time.

But as of right now they'll only have one more year of being at the same school together and riding the same bus together. (Unless we hold her back to give her another year in elementary school before transferring to middle school - but I'm not sure I want to do that either given that she's already repeated a grade and would then be 2 years older than her classmates).

When she starts middle school he'll only be in 2nd grade. And when she's finishing high school he'll be finishing middle school.

I don't know why this feels so important to me, but it does make me somewhat sad. I wish that she would have her brother with her through the school years. Just to have that familiar face and someone on her side. And there's probably a part of me that was hoping he would be there to 'watch over her' - keep an eye out for her.

Overall I just wish all this school stuff and decisions and placements and transitions didn't have to be so hard.

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Anonymous said...

oh michelle, I wish the same, that Lucas would be able to watch over Kayla during the school years, at the same school and etc. love mom

Anonymous said...

In WA State, the students walk in graduation as a senior and then move on to the transition program until they are 21. It's was a different building and, depending on the skills, they continue to learn to access public transportation, work and do life skills. They help fill out job applications and access services in the community. Most students are working in some capacity by the time they leave this program.