Last year we had Duncan evaluated for speech and other delays by the county. I went in hoping they'd tell me he was perfect and didn't need any help. We left with recommendations for speech and occupational or behavioral therapy. He got the extra help all last year in preschool. His speech improved, and he started to learn to be a good friend and student. I had hoped at the end of the year that they would recommend regular Kindergarten with maybe a little help with speech. Instead, they suggested a "special" Kindergarten class in the public school, because he might lose all that he'd learned in a private setting (he wouldn't benefit from the free special needs program into Kindergarten if, say, he attended a church Kindergarten.) I agonized over the decision. I just kind of felt under attack. But after talking with some moms who had kids who'd gone through the program, I felt better about the class, and I decided to enroll him. We met his teacher over the summer and he started Big Kid school in August. He rides a "short bus" to school every day. Those buses, when I was growing up, were for the severely handicapped kids. Not anymore! They are all over the place. Turns out, the small bus was a good thing for Duncan. Fewer older kids to worry about, seat belts, and the driver knows Duncan by name. But what I'm most thankful for about this whole process is his teacher. She's wonderful! It's a great setting. Just eight kids, a teacher, and a teacher's helper. They get hands on learning that wouldn't be possible in a larger class. There's no chance Duncan will get left behind. After helping at the school a couple months ago, I wished all of the Kindergartners had this kind of setting.
Thanks, Mrs. B!