Thursday, December 15, 2011

School Days

So, I guess it's about time I update the blog on Ethan's preschool situation.  Yes?

We met with a preschool IEP team - and, by meet, I mean I talked and Ethan played - a couple of weeks ago.  An hour and a half later, I walked out of the building with a proud smile spread wide across my face.  Within that period of time, the team - consisting of an occupational therapist, a speech therapist, a special education preschool teacher, a case manager, and myself - decided that Ethan will NOT be eligible for special education services through our public school system.

Between my assessment of Ethan's early learning skills, and the team observing him, we all agreed that he is developmentally on track - and then some, in some areas.  The case manager described him as a "true early intervention success story", meaning all of the therapy he has received since he was born has closed those developmental gaps and eliminated the need for future intervention.

[insert praise for our local CDSA and all of our therapists/friends here]

But, I'm not gonna lie.  While that is news every mother wants to hear about their child, I felt my stomach churn as I thought about being on my own for the next two years.  Since the day Ethan was born, we've had someone by his hospital bed, or in our home, coaching us on how to help him.  While I like to think that Ethan would be where he is today without the help of those people, I just don't know.  Yes, I was in the special education field for 6 years, but there's a mental block when it comes to applying that knowledge to my own son.  It's strange, I know.

I'm going to have some huge shoes to fill come March, and I'm already asking God for the parental confidence and wisdom I'll need to get us to kindergarten.

Until then, the IEP team did suggest that we give Ethan extra opportunities to socialize with groups of kids his age.  Given that, and my new job situation, we've enrolled him in the preschool program at Jeramie's work.  It's a back-up only program, and Ethan is able to go twice a month.  He'll be in a class with two-to-five year olds and I think it's going to do wonders for his social language and behavior!

And, I know for a fact that he loves it.

He had his first day of "school" this past Thursday and it exceeded all of my expectations.  I held it together through the whole drop-off process, but once I got in the car.  Y'all, I'm not even kidding.  I cried for 15 minutes straight just thinking about my sweet boy with that bookbag on his back.  Then, when I imagined him looking around the room not knowing anyone, it broke my heart all over again.

Thankfully, I was headed to a meeting for work and had no choice but to stop the tears and focus on the task at hand.  And, when the meeting was over and I read the report from his teachers?

Victory.  Sweet victory.  Now, somebody pass me the tissues.


Stefenie said...

{{{HUG}}} Gosh darn it, it is so stinking hard to let our precious babies go out into this big old world. I held it together pretty good when Logan went to preschool because I knew it was only for two and a half hours. Now, when he starts kindergarten next year I am guessing someone will have to pry my fingers off the door of the school bus. That will be HARD! Can we cry together?

Anonymous said...

OMG!!! He is too cute with that book bag. It almost brings tears to my eyes... he is growing up!

Love him (and you guys too) :)

Grandma A.

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