Last year, I pulled Lincoln out of school after 3 unsuccessful hours.
We had returned him to school February 1st ,2010.
Either my Husband or myself accompanied him to school each day…starting with one hour and gradually graduating to 3 or half a day. With a newborn baby and 2 other boys in the house we juggled a lot to get there, but we did it.
The trick this year was to have a support strategy in place to facilitate Lincolns running, anxiety about leaving his family and his Asperger Traits.
I am happy to report that after a little hounding (ok, a lot!) that school board has made several accommodations to assist with Lincolns transition and emergence from the family home to the unknown world of society and Education.
And with these concessions – they have afforded me the comfort of knowing my son will be safe.
There are several plans in place to keep him in the school and away from the dangers of a busy road and unknown location.
He has his own “code yellow” and walkie talkies in case he bolts from his class.
There is a sign on his Kindergarten yard fence asking parents to “stop” and be sure they have latched the lock to the gate.
He has an Educational Assistant to help with his transition to a new environment and new expectations.
For this, I am forever thankful.
Regardless of Lincoln hiding the tasks he prefers not to do on his visual schedule (he did indeed get caught after a few day stuffing them in a hiding spot so they could not be put on his “to do” list) or his pretending he is unable to put his shoes or jacket on unassisted (I had to write a letter in advising he is FULLY capable or doing so, and he is always encouraged and expected to dress himself at home…basically, if he doesn’t do it, he stays inside until he does AFTER reading in a report that the E/A was dressing him after he innocently asked for help…) he is embracing school and even settling in to enjoy it.
For me, the long summer of printing lessons and letter writing to the School Board, MP’s or whomever I could get to listen has paid off.
My son is going to school without objection or tears. He comes home with a smile and observations from his day.
To some, this may seem trivial, but to me these are things a year ago I could only hope would come in due course. They were hopes, and dreams and stresses and fears.
I am grateful to have the opportunity to work closely with the amazing staff at school and the amazing teachers that are not afraid to give themselves to a child that is full of promise.
It warms my heart to know I can count on others to fight with me to ensure my son gets to walk the same paths and with the same confidence, as the other children. He is not as different as we might think, and those differences can contribute to a better tomorrow.
Just give him time to bloom 🙂