Sunday, August 25, 2013
Big Girl Panties (Mine not hers)
The supplies have been placed in her cubby. The meds are packed up to take to the nurse. The ARD meeting has happened. The lunch is packed. The outfit is laid out. The hair is washed. The forms are all filled out. All of the tasks are done and all of the things are ready. But then there is me. I am not ready. I know this has to happen but my heart is breaking anyway. We met Anna's teacher on Thursday night along with the classroom aides. They could not have been nicer people who seem genuinely kind and caring and have a heart for the kids in the class. That maybe eased my mind a little but certainly not enough. I'm just going to lay it out there and if you are offended by it then I apologize. This is my blog and my feelings- I'm not always right but one thing I am is entitled to my own thoughts and feelings. When I first met with the head of the special Ed co-op I was excited about the prospect of PPCD. It sounded great. The main purpose of the class is to immerse kids in language. If for no other reason at least they will have the language to make their needs and wants known which can really cut down on undesirable behaviors. I mean really, what could be better than my child really getting better with her language skills. The plan was to let her spend some time in the regular kindergarten class for socialization but then to put her in the PPCD class for academics. Again, great plan. She would start with 30 minutes a day in the regular class and increase as she tolerates with the eventual goal by the end of the year being for her to tolerate the entire day in regular kindergarten with minimal extra support. She would then repeat kindergarten again next year in the regular classroom. But then we went to meet the teacher night and my heart broke. Reality is a bitch and she slapped me in the face. There we were in a room full of kids and I somehow felt my child did not belong there. I felt like she was too high level for this class. Most of the kids are non- verbal and although my Anna is not the easiest to understand she is certainly verbal. Most of the kids had some physical deformity and my Anna did not. I suddenly found myself feeling like the snob of the PPCD room because clearly my child did not belong there. But then I sat and talked to the teacher and the more we talked the more I realized she belongs there just as much as any other child in the class. She needs the close supervision and attention that she can only get there. She needs to be able to be taken to the bathroom every 30 mins- 1 hour. She needs the extra understanding that is required when dealing with kids who have disabilities. I'm learning that even as I think I have accepted things and that I am so understanding in the special needs world that I too still have ideas and prejudices that I didn't realize existed. In the end the only thing that really matters is that my child is in the best setting to learn and that she is content. It's time I put my big girl panties on.