Back to school brings a lot of pressure. I am feeling it–I guess Nolan feels it, but I cant be sure because he is unable to communicate that with us.
I get anxiety when it comes to back to school. The pressure of finding a chalk board that had just first day of school and what grade on it because Nolan can’t tell me any of his favorites, what he wants to be when he grows up. (I found a great one from Chalk Full of Design) The pressure of the getting that cute photo–I don’t know how to make my child smile on cue for a camera. The pressure of an IEP starting-goals that he needs to meet, a ticking time clock to meet, observable discrepancies between peers, new schedules and pick up times, etc, etc. Mommy is feeling the heat.
I also know that it brings a time of fresh starts, new people to help him grow, new routines that can help him blossom, new experiences, new friends and peer models, more time to practice and grow.
With all that back to school means, this mama may have tears sending her oldest to school, but with special education added in it adds just a bit more fear, anxiety, promise, and possibilities.
Nolan is attending the integrated preschool offered through our public school. It is only open to special education 3/4 year olds per their IEP. The teachers/staff then hand pick “mentor students” that are Neuro-typical but they know will be role models and a help in the classroom vs making problems. He will attend 2 days a week for a couple hours. I will drive him there since his ABA center is not in the same school district the bus will not pick him up. He will take the school bus home.
His first day was happily a Tuesday…which means he doesn’t have ABA (we still took that day as a family day since daddy has off and we wanted to give him as much time to be a kid with his family as possible). We got to spend the day together. We went apple picking at the local orchard as we do every year in September.
We took the picture by “their” tree, got his chalkboard pictures, smiles or not, and the whole family got to drive him to school (where we did more of the obnoxious pictures by the school sign). He was ready to go and tried entering the school before we could. He remembered exactly what door, too!
We noticed we hadn’t gotten a notice from the bus company so we went to the office to confirm he was on the bus, and it was a good thing we did, he was not on the bus list. We got him added to the bus list, but that won’t start for another week. I will be picking up on the first week (Tues & Thurs).With Nolan being non-verbal, it is hard for us to have no clue how his day went. Because I picked up on the first day, they were able to tell me he did better at transitions than they expected, but he was also being a stinker and took the opportunity to do one of pretty much everything they redirected him from doing (told him no) last year. I liked the little check in, but we wont have that when he rides the bus.
For his homework, they sent home a packet of information to help them get to know them and the families. This included information on communication so we shall see how it goes! Alex pointed out this is what normal parents have to do so I guess that makes sense….I am not sued to being a normal mom!
Nolan seemed to do well and mommy only cried twice. We all have a learning curve, but we are ready for it!