Monday, September 26, 2011

The Process of Inclusion…Jack’s First 3 Weeks of Kindergarten

What I have learned about inclusion so far…

• It is a process, a journey, and an adventure!
• It is going to take Jack time to adjust to the “Kindergarten way,” but he WILL adjust
• Having a 1:1 is a GODSEND…actually…HIS 1:1 is a godsend
• If you don’t have a proactive team, everything will fall apart in an instant
• Jack is considered one of the gang already…he has friends…lots of them. ;)
• We’ll have good days and bad days, and that is just part of the process.
• Inclusion can work with the right supports.

What gives me hope about this whole process…

On the first day of school, I got a note from Jack’s 1:1…this is what it said:

“Dear Mr. and Mrs. Clark,

Here are a few highlights about Jack’s first day of Kindergarten:
• Jack and a friend took the attendance to the office.
• The students made “First Day of School” hats
• At recess, Connor pulled Jack (in the red wagon) all around the blacktop.
• Jack’s reading buddy is a second grader, Ted. They read a book together, Three Billy Goats Gruff. It was so cute, Jack would tell Ted to “Turn the page.”
• So much more fun!
I’ll try to write each day so you can talk with Jack about his day. Thank you for the honor of helping in your son’s class.”

I have received a one-page note almost every day since detailing specific POSITIVE highlights of Jack’s days…like
“Picture Day! Jack was awesome. He walked in line all the way!”
“At snack recess, several Room 2 friends came up to say hi to Jack.. Jacklyn, Declan…Hannah also came to our tables to eat with Jack”
“Isabella’s mom came in to help the students make pancakes. Jack waited for his turn very nicely. ☺”

This is just a sample, and I look forward to these notes every day. These notes are what keeps me going and gives me the hope and encouragement I need to know that this is what I want for my son. This is the reason why…this is what inclusion is all about. It has not been easy, and my next blog post will talk about our struggles so far, but the positives, the benefits, make it all worthwhile. I feel very blessed at this moment in time and can’t wait to see what the future holds…

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