The Letter

I checked my mailbox yesterday (first time I have really been outdoors since getting sick) and there it was.

The letter from the county telling me my son is “age-eligible” for Kindergarten next school year.

Well, it had to happen. The push to mainstream him again. Up until the past year I was all about mainstreaming him as much as I could. After the various suspensions and all that, I begrudgingly enrolled him in an inclusive preschool along with ECSE. From that point on, he has been out of mainstream’s watch.

I can’t lie – it’s been more comforting for us, knowing that his current situation is tailored around HIM. The numbers are smaller in class. He has teachers, assistants and therapists that all work with him. I don’t have to worry about a call to pick him up because of aggression. I don’t have to worry about trying to explain my son’s quirks and tendencies – they all get it, and all work with him.

I knew it would had to happen soon. It sounds strange to start as we just finished Holiday Break. But as parents, we always have to look down the pike – the next grade, the next holiday, the next potty incident. We always have to look at the possibilities and the potential pitfalls. We strategize and compromise to find what will fit best for us. It’s tiring and draining. But you know if you don’t do it, you’re left holding the bag.

So, the letter came. Since the county is already aware that B is in ECSE, I am invited to a special meeting focused on the transition process for B. I’m extremely nervous about facing the next step – so many things to think about. Will he make it back to his “home school”? What after-K options are available for him? How will his IEP potentially change to reflect this? How will his OT therapies go?

Kindergarten will be a BIG step. Instead of 5-10 kids, it will be more like 30 kids. More chances for outbursts, fights, reprimands. He still struggles with keeping his hands to himself. Can he wait in line with that many kids? Will he be able to follow and adapt to a bigger, louder environment?

Once upon a time I was so determined to mainstream him into Kindergarten. Now? I’m not so sure. Guess we’ll have to wait and see what’s out there.

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About OneLoCoMommy

I live in Northern Virginia and and I look like the stereotypical suburban mom, for better or for worse. My son plays baseball and takes karate (albeit adaptive). My daughter is a gymnastics diva but rolls with the boys in T-ball. I've been a Room Mom and Playdate Coordinator. I work full-time, try to work out, and love my Book Club. However, I also blog on my experiences on our ASD, SPD and ADHD journey while trying to be a better parent advocate. All in a life's work.
This entry was posted in Autism, IEP, Life, Occupational Therapy, PDD-NOS, School, SPD, Special Needs, Speech Therapy and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to The Letter

  1. Kristen says:

    Shelby’s transition I worried endlessly about. I was told her three options were an autism classroom, a cross-categorical special ed classroom or regular kindergarten. I was not only nervous about mainstreaming her completely but about a cross-categorical classroom. Although she had been in a preschool program the previous two years with other children with autism, other developmental issues and some who were completely neuro-typical, I knew that many teachers in the cross-categorical classrooms are just not prepared for the autism puzzle, as it were. Particularly sensory issues. My husband toured all three types of classrooms and when we got to the point in her IEP about placement I held my breath as the county autism coordinator said, “Dad and I agree and decided Shelby’s best placement is in an autism classroom.” We do have her mainstreamed for music, PE, computers, art, and library as well as field trips. And we are working toward mainstreaming her at lunch now in first grade. Everyone at that transition table though, knew that any other placement was a huge disadvantage for her and all of us. Fingers crossed that you and “the team” can come to a workable solution.

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    • OneLoCoMommy says:

      Thank you so much for telling me your story. One thing I failed to mention in the post is that our Kindergarten is only half-day. When I say half-day I mean 3 hours. B’s ECSE actually is an hour longer because lunch is incorporated into the day. So Kindergarten is shorter and I still need to scramble and find afterschool care. Grumble.

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      • Kristen says:

        That is such a pain! Both pre-school (pre-K) and kindergarten here are full day, but all our schools are on stagger start times (the state requires transportation be provided for children with special needs in pre-K so the buses take and drop them off and then get their other routes).. Will definitely send some prayers and positive thoughts for the after school situation.

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      • OneLoCoMommy says:

        Thanks, I hope to have more next week after the meeting.

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  2. Mindi says:

    Good luck! I will be cheering him on. I’m sure it can be quite nerve wracking, full of anxiety and stress.

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  3. anautismdad says:

    Age-eligible! I remember the days when I was asked how old my son was and was not capable of answering. His age was not the age of his body. Gladly the two ages are now much more closely aligned.

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  4. Pingback: Kindergarten? Eek. | One LoCo Mommy

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