Wow. Today was a rough one. It was Maria’s last day of developmental preschool–where she’s been for 2 years. Her teacher and paraprofessionals are deeply in love with her and it was quite emotional when we said goodbye for the last time. Plus, only 2 of her classmates are going to Maria’s new school, and neither of those is Samantha, who has been such a good friend to Maria, but I suppose she’ll make new friends.
Yesterday was water day at school. Nanny Sue stayed with Maria all morning; I dropped in for a few minutes after visiting the new school. I’m so glad I did–Maria was in hog heaven! She was lounging in the kiddie pool, playing hide-and-seek with Sue’s dress. They put her on a little car and she went down a track through a puddle of water (which I never would have thought she could do), but she was hanging on real tight, her feet were in the proper position, and she had the biggest grin on her face. It was magical!! She’s been in such a good mood all week (maybe she’s excited about our trip to Alaska?).
When Manolis and I were at Maria’s new school I let them know I have been underwhelmed by them so far; fortunately this visit was pretty good. I liked the PT that walked around with us, she seemed excited to work with Maria next year. The vice-principal, who won’t be back next year, was very nice and positive (although she did admit that Maria would probably be the “most special” kid in the entire elementary school…. What mom wants to hear that?!) We talked with the nurse (who’s retiring this year) about Maria’s meds, saw the diaper changing area, cafeteria, classrooms, playground, briefly met the principal (the one who wouldn’t return my calls).
I gave them another copy of Maria’s transition book (something I highly recommend– it’s a story, written in 1st person, about your child’s likes and dislikes, conditions, things to watch out for, etc. It has photos so they know who it’s about. I give it to the new teachers, therapists, etc.), and I gave them a 1-pager summarizing my concerns. I emphasized that Maria has two life-threatening conditions: seizures, which are mostly under control but could emerge again at any time, and swallowing difficulties, with which she could choke and die with one wrong swallow. Yes, I overdramatized a bit, but I don’t know who’s going to be dealing with her, so I need to be a bit dramatic (especially since Maria’s pediatrician has accused me–rightly so–of being too cavalier at times with Maria’s issues).
They invited me to come in a couple days before school starts to train the teachers, therapists, whoever, about Maria’s needs; and they invited me to come the 1st day of school and train them on her medication and feeding. Much more inviting than the previous 2 visits! They got the message that I wasn’t a happy camper w/o me having to be too much of a bitch. I have heard good things about this school, we’ll see soon enough. Fortunately, after this visit I feel a bit more at ease, although they don’t know who the general education or special education teachers will be yet, or the paraprofessionals who will be assigned to be with Maria all day (1 in the morning and 1 in the afternoon), so I won’t really relax until I see who they are and how they handle Maria. Can we be so lucky to have another Kelli or Denise??
Oh, yea, and I also mentioned the GAO report released yesterday on abuse of special needs kids in public schools (very scary report, OMG!) and how none of that better happen to our sweet princess.