If you have been reading my blog, you know I have been very frustrated with the preschool process. It’s being going on for months now, and I have to admit I attacked it from the beginning like an angry mama bear. I never gave the school a chance. In my defense, I am programmed at this point to attack. Everything is a fight when it comes to Harry’s care. Nothing comes easy, but eventually we get what we need after vary degrees of war.
In the beginning, I made demands. I told them I wouldn’t budge on getting him his own aide, at they tried to talk me out of it. I asked many questions about the difference between Harry going to this preschool disabled program and a general education preschool (which they don’t have in my district, so he would have to go out of district). I was very aggressive, particular, and demanding, as is my personality. I definitely got off on the wrong foot. I just didn’t understand why we were having this whole evaluation for a child who has a physical disability. I felt like no one had any experience with muscular dystrophy, and that’s frustrating. No, his cognition/speech/social skills are not involved. He’s just weak! I got so angry. Thankfully, they were patient with me, and they even eventually agreed with every one of my concerns and decisions.
Last week I had the final meeting with the child study team and we were all finally on the same team. They finally agreed that Harry needs an aide dedicated solely to him. They were unable to convince the higher-ups the same, but managed to get him an aide on a 120-day trial, with the promise that when the trial is up they will either begin a new one or approve the permanent addition, and he will never be without one.
I chose to pursue the preschool disabled program because I think it’s what is best for Harry right at this moment. I was able to sit in on a class and it was a very easy going, nice group, who were doing all of the things expected in preschool. It is capped at 12 students, and there is a lot of help from multiple aides in the classroom. Being in this program will not preclude him from general education in the future, but will set him up for success.
It’s crazy that school is set and just about here! He can officially start on his birthday, but we chose to wait until the next week. There is no school that week on Monday or Tuesday, so he’ll be starting with a shortened week. I have started buying him some new clothes because he has to be the best dressed, of course! He is moving into 3T anyway, so it was time for some new stuff. We also got him a cool dump truck lunch box, which he is SO excited about, but the teacher said they supply snacks so everyone has the same thing. He might just have to bring an empty lunch box! His teacher seems amazing and I think he already won her over. My little man has a way of doing that. I expect to spend my September mornings crying in the school parking lot, because the program is every morning! When they said “5 days a week” I nearly fell over!
I feel like Harry and I are breaking up – like our relationship will forever change from this point on. The weird thing is that I can see it coming, but there’s nothing I can do to stop it. It’s for the best, I keep telling myself. It’s him, not me! He needs this. We will always love each other, it’s just going to be different. I won’t always be his #1. This is hard stuff, friends, but I can’t wait to see my amazing little man thrive. He’s going to be getting 2 OT and 2 PT sessions a week, that alone is amazing. Add in little friends his age, and learning new things by challenging him – it’s going to be great. I’ll just need a little support.