Monday, August 4, 2014

First Day of Kindergarten PANIC!

Tomorrow, I put a kindergartner on a bus for the first time. While he is my sixth child, he is my first ever to attend public school. All the rest are homeschooled. 

Honestly? I am terrified. 

Not because I am afraid of public school or secular education or socialization or any other such thing home educators are accused of hiding from. But simply because I have no idea if this is the right course of action for my son with special needs. 

Eon will be fully-included in a general education classroom with only an extra paraprofessional in the class during math and reading instruction. He will receive pull-out instruction in the resource room thirty minutes per day for extra instruction as well as weekly therapies of various lengths. 

It's what we wanted. It's what his preschool team recommended. According to the research, it's the best-case scenario. 

But for our family, for our life, for our kid, is it the best option?

I honestly have no idea. 

Will he miss too much family time? Will he feel left out? Are we creating too much distance between him and the neuro-typical kids, therefore highlighting the difference in Down syndrome?

Will his teacher get him? Will she embrace having him in her class as she appears to be? Will she support him, yet maintain high expectations, or will she coddle him and treat him like the class mascot? Will he learn academics or just pick up negative behaviors?

Will he be safe on the bus? Will bigger kids pick on him? Will he stay in his seat? Will they lose him in transition from bus<->class as they keep promising me they will not do?

What about lunch? How does a mostly nonverbal kid indicate what he wants for lunch in the cafeteria everyday? How many people know the ASL sign for "french fries"? He will have a guaranteed meltdown if french fries are on the menu, but not on his tray. Should I have shown his teacher the sign at open house?!? Oh, crap! I should have shown her the sign and explained! UGH.

And then there's this:
You don't even want to know how long it took me to do this. Seriously. It's embarrassing. If I had to do one for each of my children, I would run away.

It took me the entire day to get this one child ready for tomorrow's school day. And then, at the end of it, I failed to do the one thing I've been promising we'd do since his teacher gave it to us at open house. 
When I realized I forgot, Eon had been in bed for about a half hour. Shawn reminded me that he's a great sleeper and would go back to sleep readily if I woke him for this sweet ritual. 
I ran upstairs and approached his bed. "Eon, Eeeeeon....Dude, wake up. Eon? Siiiimeeeeeon." Shaking his leg...his arm...his torso. Lightly at first, then more vigorously. 
Nothing. I moved on to patting. "Eon! Wake up!" Finally, I pulled him to a sitting position and he opened one eye. I showed him the story and quickly reminded him that his teacher told us to read it. "No! Sleeeeep," he mumbled before collapsing back on the pillow. Undaunted, I began to read:
Once I hit the line about being hard to fall asleep, I looked at my sleeping boy and laughed as I walked out of his room. 

I think Mom needs this confetti way more than he does!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness I LOVE this, and I so relate. My girlies are starting public school this fall too (I'm presently embroiled in IEP/assessment drama) and I wonder about all.of.these.things. Right there with you, friend!