I, on the other hand, was a nervous, anxious wreck the entire first week. Was he eating the provided food? Was he listening and following directions? Was he trying to use the potty? Was he having fun? Was he making new friends? (The answers: some of it, yes, yes, Oh yes, YES!)
Did he miss me? Even a little bit?? (Oddly, I think he did. I got a hug and a kiss every day when he got off the bus. He even signed "I love you" to me one morning while I was waving to him as the bus pulled away. Yes, I was reduced to tears that morning.)
His teacher made a communication booklet for each student and they would choose from a bunch of squares that they had to help cut out. Those squares would show some of the activities they did that day. She would ask what O's favorite thing of the day was and he would pick out a square. She would ask what he didn't like, but normally she could fill that out herself through observation. She would include a short note about something that stuck out to her each day. If need be, she would send me an email to elaborate or fill me in on something else. I loved the book! It was so nice to see what he was enjoying and he and I would look over it each day together after he got off the bus. He would sign to me about some things that he did--swinging and play outside were clearly his favorites. I am so thankful that she is going to continue this kind of communication log for the upcoming school year too. It's nice to know what your non-verbal kiddo is actually doing during the day!
|One of the pages from his communication book|
Apparently last week the K teacher that we had met at our transition meeting was subbing for Owen's summer school class. She and Owen "made a great connection" (her words!) and she went to the principal at the end of last week and asked that Owen be switched to her Kindergarten class for this upcoming school year. That's right.......a teacher WANTS to have my kid in her classroom! The principal and his special education teacher agreed to the change and I was notified yesterday. I am so excited about that. To me, it means that Mrs. B is going to go the extra mile to really include Owen as part of the classroom and help him engage with his classmates during the time he is in the gen. ed. classroom. By choosing him, she has invested herself in helping him strengthen his skills so he can access even more gen. ed. time in the future. I am beyond thrilled!
While I was nearly terrified of this summer school experience, it has really proved to be one of the best things for both of us. In two weeks when school starts up again for the regular school year, I have no doubt that neither of us will be all that anxious and I expect him to have a fantastic school year. I didn't think I would be writing those words, but now I do believe them.