Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Things That Have Made Me Cry Today



This morning I visited the perfect preschool. It's within walking distance, Montessori-ish, parent co-op, inexpensive, loads of integrated lesson plans, big beautiful playground.

But, small classrooms crowded with learning stations, bark mulch playing surface outside and no one experienced with physical disabilities. Worst of all, the swings don't even have a back part. Malachi loves the swings. How will he ever be able to swing without a swing seat?

I listened to the teacher describe a typical day with mixed emotions. She noted how each kid put up their jackets on a hook in the crowded hallway and then signed their name in, then wandered to whatever station they chose. Malachi wouldn't be able to participate in any of that, I knew, and it made me very sad. But I was also so proud because the entire time she was describing this, Malachi was sitting completely unsupported on a regular chair, picking up small foam pieces and putting them in a bowl.

How far we have come.

How very much further we have to go.

The preschool is perfect for JJ. And Malachi, for that matter, as long as we can get some help. I really hope that we can make something work with our local services to bring in a full-time aid. We'll see.

But there were other wonderful things that made me cry today.

First, Yankees fans — sworn enemies of the Boston Red Sox — sang Sweet Caroline, a Fenway Park standard, in support of Boston as it mourns the marathon bombings.



Then, I saw that the New Zealand house of representatives burst into a traditional love song after legalizing same-sex marriage. 



H/T: MacLean's


How far we have come.

How much further we have to go.

EDIT: My kids woke up from their nap, so I didn't have a chance to add this link, from Chasing Rainbows. It seems the entire special needs blogging community is mourning with Kate Leong for the loss of her son Gavin, a 5-year-old with cerebral palsy. I didn't have the fortune to hear about Chasing Rainbows before her family's tragedy but I can easily see now why she is so beloved. She is so open, honest and eloquent in her writing — so obviously kind and loving. I highly recommend popping over to read a few of her posts like, In Lieu of Flowers and the beautiful story of organ donation, A Meeting Orchestrated From Heaven.

5 comments:

  1. The Montessori school we looked at would not even PRETEND that they would try to accommodate Julia. Hubby went with Julia to meet them and tour, and the director made a point of talking about every single thing about the day that Julia would not be able to do, and how important it all was to the learning process. Halfway through, hubby decided that if she was working so hard to dissuade him, that was not the environment he wanted either Julia or Gabrielle to be in, even though we were prepared to either have me go in as her aide, or hire one.

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    Replies
    1. These people seemed open to it, just unsure what it would look like, which I was too. I hadn't really grocked how much more care Malachi requires than other kids and how every single activity would have to be modified for him.

      We'll see what the EI people say about what's available to kids with disabilities in this area.

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    2. If it's anything like here, they'll direct you to special ed through the school district. Unless you guys have more resources, but they don't have one-on-one aides for private preschools, and honestly I wasn't about to fight for it now. Preschool isn't important enough for me to tag us as "the difficult parents".

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  2. I really hope that if this is the right school for Malachi that you are able to get the care that he needs! There needs to be changes made to schools and the standards that they are required to be held to. All schools should be able to provide all levels of care needed.

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  3. You could require them to make modifications under the ADA but they would probably resent it. I'd look for a program that focused more on kids than the curriculum.

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