Friday, July 31, 2009

Transitions...

That is what Will and I are going through right now. Will is turning 3 in two weeks. We are all looking forward to his birthday and so proud of the little boy that he is growing to be. But with this amazing birthday comes MAJOR changes.

Since Will was 3 months old we have been getting therapy services through the state program, early intervention. The therapists come to our home and love, nurture and guide William and I throughout these three years. Once a child turns three they are no longer eligible for the state program and the school system takes over.

I will not be there during therapy to support, cheer and encourage him, his teachers and therapists will be there. I will not be the one that is trying to teach him how to communicate and learn new skills, it will be his teachers. I feel as though I am handing them my baby, not a three year old.

Our little cocoon of safety and comfort will be broken open. If I don't tell someone about RTS, they don't know, they don't care. William is just...William. But with school, William is William, William is RTS, William is special ed.

I went to look at the classroom that the teachers and therapists think would be a good fit for William today. I cried. And cried. The ugly cry. In front of people that I don't know! For a long time. I have been putting off going and visiting for over two weeks now and today I felt like I had to do it. I was just overwhelmed and frankly, scared to death. The classroom is a self-contained room, meaning that there are only special kids in the room. All of the students have a one on one aid with them at all times. It seemed to me like a big therapy room. The teachers were sweet and understood my emotion. A teacher took Will and played and showed him around the room while I talked with the head teacher. I feel better about the classroom after having talked to her but I still have fear. It is just a big change and everything is so new.

We did the evaluation process a few weeks ago. Will and I went to the school and a team of therapist and teachers evaluated William on many different skills. The testing took two hours which William did very well with. He charmed them all instantly and all of the ladies went ga-ga over his eyelashes! I cried. And cried. The ugly cry.
We went back to discuss the results of the evaluation. They said that Will (35 months old at the time) scored at the 17 month old level for cognitive development and at 13 months for language development. I cried. And cried. The ugly cry.

We haven't had the IEP (individualized education plan) for him yet, that comes on Thursday. I am afraid that I am going to be a crying sack of emotions and be worthless.

Will is going to be starting school on the 17th of August, only two days after he turns 3. Is there any way that we can just stay in our cocoon?

11 comments:

Kelly said...

This is such a hard time. I know the cry...that ugly one...I have done it too! This change will be great for William but it won't be without fear. All good things are tough...right??

Remember...numbers are just numbers. I sit and politely listen to all those numbers at IEP meetings and then toss them out the window when I leave. We are all doing the best we can and their numbers don't matter.

I love you and I am thinking about you!

Kelly

Brandi said...
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Terri H-E said...

Myssie - I didn't cry the ugly cry back then. I got pissed and righteous. I researched and was hell bent on knowing every therapist's and teachers' business as well as my own, all the data behind every method, stats on successful implementation, etc. But it was based on the same feelings - we're not ready. My child cannot be wholely in anyone else's hands. It's just not possible yet.

But when I finally cooled my jets, I noticed that while a self-contained classroom was by no means my goal for my darlin', the PRE-school to preschool did really help to give her a foundation of school culture. We don't have circle time at home, so I can't help her prepare for it. She doesn't have to wait for someone else's turn at home - it's always her turn. I don't consistently have her try to take her coat on or off because I'm multi-tasking all the time. Hell - I didn't even make her carry ANY of her own stuff, ever, until school. I only know so many engaging songs with fun actions to go along with them.

Once I stopped thinking of it as school - big time stuff, and started thinking of it as practice for the big time, I was able to loosen my grip a bit. I don't think Addie's early childhood program experience was ideal, but I would not go back any make any other decision besides exposing her to school culture in this way, giving her a little edge for when the big time started a few years later.

It's definitly a little hill to climb. For parents, anyway. Addie's never looked back since she turned 3 - 3 years ago! Her varied school experiences are enriching and empowering to her - she's proud that she has a claim outside of our cocoon. And when I sit back and watch her confidence, her love of life, I get a little proud of us, for being able to hold back a bit and let her get outside of arms reach early on.

I get you. He'll do wonderfully. And you'll cry the ugly cry a bit more. But not for long. Trust Will. He'll knock your socks off.

Terri H-E said...
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Cindy said...

I soooo remember the feeling! It is very real and scary, but as long as you don't get bad vibes from any of his future teachers, I would jump in. You can always jump out if something seems wrong. You can tell yourself, "We're just going to try this for two weeks" and see how you and Will feel at the end of two weeks. (He's going to love it!)

Christine said...

Aww Myssie, I wish i had words of wisdom for you. What Teri said make so much sense,but it still scary and I too am walking along side of you. I too am scared. I too am crying. Will is a big boy, but he's still your baby- I get it and just wanted you to know that I am walking that walk with you. Hugs Myssie- miss you.

Lora said...

(((hugs))) Myssie. Thinking of you and Will as you make these challenging transitions.

Jacqui said...

Myssie, my heart really connects with you. I don't have any wise words of advice to offer...being in a different country and facing a different system. But I know that the BIG world is a scary place, and the coccoon is definitely the safe space. All strength to you and your Brave Young Boy as you face the Big World. HUGS

Jessica mommy to Alex/ RTS said...

I'm ugly crying right now. Everything everyone is saying makes sense, but.......push forward ugly cry and all. Love you so much!

Kristi said...

I am also right there with you. I have cried the ugly cry a lot lately. Noah's evals are this month and I'm NOT looking forward to it. I am so scared too.. Thinking of you and William. I know he will do great.

Kelly said...

I know that ugly cry! It usually comes out when I want to be that stong mom. Thinking of you during Will's transition and can't wait to hear how things go. Will will do great and make you proud. Kelly F