|Yes, I blocked out faces for privacy reasons :)|
This year my son started out in a self contained Special Ed class that had 8 students, one teacher and about a million Aides. He was placed there because the year prior he had a difficult time. I'm not really sure what it was about his pre-school that turned my child into a behavioral disaster but, it happened....all year. When the district observed him our hope for inclusion was squashed and honestly, that was fine. I knew he needed more support than inclusion could have provided, so in reality it was a blessing in disguise.
About a month into the school year Frankie's behaviors had almost all been extinguished. He still had some social issues, not understanding boundaries and copying other behaviors positive or negative , he would then take those behaviors to an extreme. Because social issues could only be remedied by positive role models his special ed teacher made the decision to start mainstreaming him for specials and certain time of the day.....cue water works.
Unfortunately, my tears were not of joy but instead of fear. This is what I had been waiting for, this was our chance, he was ready to be with typical peers, he was ready, I was not. As his teacher told me I started hyperventilating slightly, she calmed me down, I was so worried. I would constantly ask what the other kids thought of him, if they thought he was like them....maybe it was because I was teased growing up but, my biggest concern was how his peers would react.
You have to understand that a child's diagnosis or issues can not be shared with the children in the classroom or their parents because of confidentiality. I am all for confidentiality (hence photo cover ups) but I didn't realize at first that NO ONE in the mainstream class knew where my son came from, why he had an aid or what his all around deal was. SO while I get respecting our privacy, if they would have told me I would have MADE the teacher tell everyone, heck I would have written a letter to every parent.....
Here is where I get to say Thank you and be happy my son hit another child (this is the ONLY time lol). I was lucky enough that a mom asked me about Frankie. That she made mention of a situation and I got to explain Frankie and how to deal with him. I spoke to that same mom today and she mentioned how she was happy she talked to me back in October because after becoming AWARE she could talk to her son and now the boys were friends. I am thankful that Other moms ASKED about him and I am happy I have no issue telling. My son had a great year because people were aware of his situation and some explained it to their children who then understood Frankie.
So I say THANK YOU! Thank You for asking, thank you for caring and thank you for suggesting.....
Yes, Thank you for suggesting. Because of the suggestion of two moms, we are working on an Awareness type program staring for the younger kids this year in SEPTA. (Another Story for another BLOG)
I've said it before in different Forums but, I am So Thankful to everyone in that class that took the time to Ask, to listen and to accept him. In two weeks he starts school again. This time in a 12:1:1 1st grade. I'm sad because he won't be mainstreaming as much (unless he surpasses the class academically) but I know he will see his friends at lunch and recess..... Here is to another great year.....and if he is mainstreamed and there is a question, i pray they ask.