Friday, April 23, 2010

Reality check

Last week Alex, Max and I took a trip to see the school that Alex will be going to after he turns 3.
I'm not going to lie, it was hard.
A reminder maybe of what is. I don't think about Rubinstein Taybi Syndrome everyday anymore. Alex is Alex, and his noises, stim needs, and special needs are just normal.
Walking into that classroom reminded me how separated I have become to my old life.
That was a life without Alex though, and I'm blessed to be here. I love our new normal, but it was hard.
I went with excitement at the thought of Alex in school, after all, Noah and Joel loved preschool, and there is just something sweet about dropping off your toddler in a stimulating learning environment full of other little toddlers.
The teacher greeted us as she pushed a little girl in a hammock swing.
Every child was busy with an activity.
Then came my reality check.
I don't even know what it was.
The children were beautiful and happy, and busy.
It was different.
It was hard to take in.
I loved how organized it seemed, and how the teacher was in tune with each child's differences.
It was hard to take in.
It was different.
The children were excited to change activities, and eager to participate.
The room was colorful, and happy.
It was hard.
I tried to imagine Alex navigating his way around the room, I sure hope he is walking by then.
Will he sit still, and obey?
Will he be frustrated if he cant express himself?
Will he miss me?
Will he love it?
It was hard.
I'm still excited.
It will be ok.

8 comments:

Jacquie said...

I know how you feel. I was there. I never cried when Ben was diagnosed. Wouldn't let myself. The day I had to go in, see the class and talk to the teacher's, social workers, therapists about him,... I lost it.
If it helps at all, Ben loved his school and I loved it too. Much more then I ever expected.
Different isn't always bad. There was a special ed teacher and three aids for 6 children. The way they get them to learn and comminicate is to make them happy and want to let them know what he wants.
Each day Ben grabs his backpack, his lunchbox, and he's happy to get on the bus. That communicates all I need to know.
Good luck, and believe....

The VW's said...

I was SO worried aboutGavin starting school when he turned 3! In fact, I dreaded that day! Now that he has been in school for the past 6 months, I can honestly say that it has been wonderful! They are doing things with Gavin that I never would have and he really seems to love it and he seems proud of doing this on his own.

Taking the first step is so difficult as his Momma, but it's what will help Alex take huge steps in development! HUGS!!!

Christine said...

Jessica,

I understand your fears completely. It was the hardest thing in the world for me to send Nathan to preschool. I kept thinking will he be okay, will he be treated right and fairly, will he be acccepted, will they be patient, will he be okay and so on.....
I can tell you Nathan LOVES school and the children embrace and fight over who gets to be next to Nathanor hold his hand. Everyone lights up when he walks into the room. Once I saw this, saw how happy Nathan was and how well he has progressed I knew that we made the right decision and as your earlier reader said the first step if the hardest and most difficult step but it will help ALex take those leaps and bounds and help him reach his full potential!! Hugs my friend!

sugar magnolia said...

Hugs! I hope that the school helps Alex and that he thrives there!

Finding Normal said...

I was there, about 6 months ago. It was so hard to envision her in that environment. And to think that she was old enough? That was the hardest. Because I secretly wish I could just freeze time and keep my kids little forever. But she just lights up when I tell her it's a school day, and she giggles all the way to the bus. And her teacher and therapists email me with little Addison stories that make me smile in the middle of the day. And random people that I work with who have to go there to observe other kids will tell me how much fun she's having and how delightful she is. Yes, it will be hard for both of you for a few days. Those tears on the days I put her on the bus were hard, even though the driver said they stopped as soon as the bus started moving and she didn't do it on the days Daddy put her on the bus.
My biggest piece of advice is to get advice on his IEP goals from his current therapists and communicate them with the school so that they can build an IEP that really meets his needs, rather than what they think his needs might be when they evaluate him. Bring your ideas to the evaluation. We did that, and I think the transition was easier, and it helped me to know that our voice was a big part of the IEP.
And Jess? He's going to love it. I promise!

Kristi said...

Wow.I know how you feel. I put off Noah starting school when he turned 3 in Oct but now I'm regretting it. He will be starting in a couple of weeks but these past months have been hard. I think I knew in my heart that Noah was ready but it was too hard for me to let him go. Selfish it seems but I knew it had to be the right time for both of us. My biggest fear was Noah's walking and still is. He walks but with lots of anxiety. I just wanted you to know I am in the middle of these feelings right now. Hugs.

Our Journey said...

been there!! and not too long ago ;) alex will love it! frankie does his excited shake everytime he sees his school.. his class is small - 4 kids and 2 teachers so he gets tons of attention.. they all love him and he loves them!! since starting school he has become more calm and "mature" . he spins alot less often now and is doing alot more on his own!

Team Carter Jay said...

Oh my gosh...I can so relate to your post, and my little guy is only a year old. It's an overwhelming thought to know that our little ones won't always be attached to our hips.