For everyone who didn’t know, my little angel Jack turned 3 a few weeks ago. This is a huge milestone as this is the time he enters into the public school system. We have been transitioning him out of Early Intervention for about six months now in preparation for this new journey. During the six month process, John and I were overwhelmed with meetings and assessments meant to help us and the school district decide on the best services for Jack once he turned 3. It all culminated a week before his birthday with the BIG meeting (also known as an Individualized Education Plan or IEP) that put in writing where he would go and what services he would receive. John and I decided early on in the process that we wanted Jack to be in a Special Education preschool right now with a long term goal being in a typical classroom when he enters Kindergarten. This all fits in with our lifelong goals for Jack. We see him as a kid first…we don’t define him by his disability, and we want the world to see him in the same light. He is an integral part of our family, and in the same turn, we want him to be an integral part of society. Soooooo, with that in mind, John and I thought that being in “Special Ed” for preschool, where he is getting the intensive schooling he needs to prepare him for the real world of Kindergarten is an A-OK place to be.
So fast forward to April 13…Jack’s first day of school…well, let me back up for a minute…there are a few important points to mention…our biggest push was that Jack go to our home school where Bella will start in the Fall. We thought that since they had a Special Day Class (SDC), it would be perfect to have Jack around his sister and at the same time, get used to the school that he will (hopefully) be attending for the duration. Fortunately for us, the school district agreed. They also agreed to five half days a week of preschool with individual pull outs for Speech, Adaptive PE, and Occupational Therapy. He got everything we asked for…phew!
So back to the first day…Jack goes in the afternoons…it’s tough because he doesn’t really have time to take a nap…so I guess naps are history! We got him all spiffed up, armed him with his lunch and new Elmo backpack, and took him to school. We walked in the classroom, and the meltdown began…flop, drop, and roll, screaming, hysterical Jack. We eventually left, and I had a bad feeling the whole time he was gone. Sure enough, when I arrived to pick him up, the teacher said she almost called me because Jack supposedly banged his head against the door and sobbed for an hour L. My child does not bang his head, and if he was, why DIDN’T she call me?! I was miffed with a capital M. I was miffed she didn’t call me, and I was miffed because I wasn’t so sure now about this teacher who I was SO sure about at the IEP. Long story short, John told me I needed to mellow out and that it would be fine sooner than I thought…he was right…what else is new?! LOL
Day Two…30 seconds of crying…1 flop drop and roll…great day.
Day Three…no crying…was fine with me leaving…blew me a kiss goodbye.
Day Four…Had his backpack on at 10:00 ready for school...two hours early.
Today…Day 14…Ran in the door yelling Hi! Hi!!!!!!! to his classmates…Sat right down with his lunch in his special chair by the teacher…forgot I was there…I walked out…as his teacher told John the other day, “He LOVES school!”
So needless to say, I’m thrilled. So far, I’m very pleased with everything…some cute things that the teacher and aides have told us about Jack so far…
-The 5th graders come to be book buddies on Friday afternoons…Jack’s teacher told me, “He’s died and gone to heaven!” LOL
-Yesterday they told me Jack wins the best dressed award…duh!
-Jack is about HALF the size of everyone in his class…they all love him and think he’s their pet…they actually pet his head…LOL!
-He is talking A LOT! And sitting for 20 minute periods of time! And standing in line with his class without running away! Cool Stuff!