Inclusion in Summer School

Inclusion in Summer School

Okay okay, it’s no secret I love my preschool, but since we have just met, let me give you a bit of background. Dylan and her twin started at our school district preschool right after her third birthday. We didn’t really have a choice on preschools because of her special needs, she transitioned in very easily from our Early Intervention program. I enrolled Duncan there as well, he needed the outlet and this was easy. Even without a choice, boy, did we luck out! We quickly became lifers and since then two additional children have been enrolled there. In the few years that we have been there I have had my preschoolers go into their summer program which is four weeks in the summer, three days a week. I was excited to put my new preschooler in with my second year preschooler to get him used to what going to school will be like. I noticed, as I was walking out the first day, that there was a mom unloading a child in a wheelchair and I remember thinking to myself how happy I was that my kids might have the opportunity to be in a classroom with a special needs child. Well, not my finest hour, because once the wheels got turning it dawned on me that they do the Extended School Year (ESY) program for the special needs kids during the summer. Dylan was in it. So… Of course there would be special need kids in their class! Well, hello… the summer program for typical children was likely a way for the preschool to supplement the ESY...
Sometimes Things Are Harder

Sometimes Things Are Harder

It’s just hard, this thing called normal. And we want to share what we are up against, not so you can feel sorry for us, just so you can understand. One of the things that I personally have a hard time with is when family and friends fail to realize that it’s harder for families with children and family members with special needs to do some of the “normal” things that people do on a day to day basis. Oh yes, don’t get me wrong, we will try, our other kids count on it, but it’s just not going to be common when our choices are to get a sitter and leave someone behind or consider so many extra things. First and foremost – and likely the easiest to deal with – we have gear people! Our children have GEAR. Oxygen tanks, trach supplies, feeding pumps, special food, medicine, emergency kits. Where they go, their gear goes! But, with that handy pack mule (often known as ‘daddy’) we can move on, because this is where is gets a little more unpredictable and complicated for us. Some of our children can’t walk on their own and can’t sit in a stroller for a significant amount of time. Often we are asked to go somewhere where Dylan can “just stay in her stroller.” For some kids this works, you would think being up with the crowd is optimal right? It used to work for us, but we have turned a corner. Dylan is developmentally around 18 months and as with every 18 month old, she is fine while we are moving her stroller, but...
Examples of Acceptance

Examples of Acceptance

We want you to find this blog full of helpful information and resources. We want you to be able to come to us with questions and comments and have this be a place for you to find new things to share with your friends. Along with that, we want you to come here to fill your heart. Occasionally we will be sharing small stories of acceptance, things that we have seen in our community that warm the heart. Recently a friend of mine posted a picture of her daughter Madelyn diligently working on an end of the school year self-appointed project. Every night her five year old would pull out her big bin of beads and work diligently to make bracelet after bracelet. She declared that she wasn’t going to stop until she had made bracelets for every child in her class. She set off each day with three or four bracelets in her back pack to hand out to her school mates. Adorable right? After a few comments had been made about how thoughtful this was her mom volunteered even more information, and information important to us. There is a child with Down Syndrome in her class and this child has sensory issues. Aware of this, though too young to know exactly why, this sweet girl took special care to only use smooth beads on the bracelet for this classmate “so the bumps wouldn’t bother her when she wore it.” Get out. This story made me want to jump up and down with excitement. To be aware of another child’s special needs and to make special accommodations? Outstanding!...