Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Big Picture...

The school year is off to a great start.  Initially, Kendall was on the bus for over an hour to school, and over an hour on the way home.  That really worried me with her blood sugars dropping in the afternoon.  Even though we have a nurse on the bus with her, they both have to remain seated, so checking sugars and giving emergency apple juice was a challenge.  Fortunately, with some help from our Diagnostician and our Endocrinologist writing a quick note, the transportation department went above and beyond to see that Kendall's bus ride was swift.  It now takes around 12 minutes for her short yellow bus to get her to and from school.

As far as the school year goes, it's only week two...but things seem to be going as planned.  You see, I have this vision for Kendall.  I've mentioned it before.  It would be easier if I could shake it, and not fight for it.  But I can't.  It's hard to explain, but when an idea is laid on my heart, I can't rest until it becomes reality.  For real.  I dream about it, think about it, and completely obsess over it.  I'm not going to apologize for that.

First and foremost, I want Kendall's health to be taken care of.  She's complicated.  Unexpected things come out of the blue.  There's a lot of i's to dot and t's to cross. Without proper care every hour, the long term effects could be deadly.  Spend money on her care now, save money on her care later.  Give her the quality of life she deserves.

Secondly, she's only four, but typically developing four year olds usually have good communication skills.  While Kendall is saying more, and expressing herself through obvious gestures and facial expressions, there's still a lot she can't tell me.  She can't say if she's sad, mistreated, jealous, frustrated.  She can't share how much she actually knows with everyone.  So a communication device is not a luxury.  It is a necessity.  It is not something I will ever waiver on.  She needs the training from skilled people.  People working with her need training from skilled people.  Technology is evolving so is imperative the professionals are also on top of things.  I will not apologize for "strongly suggesting" that training take place.  Ever.  If I have to be a thorn in your side to make certain my child is getting the best...I will.  We live in a community and pay taxes in a community that prides themselves on great schools.  Not good.  Great.

Thirdly, I want Kendall to enjoy her life.  I fully expect her to build true friendships and have love in her life.  The main reason I want Kendall in a general education pre-school class is for the socialization.  I'm not naive. I know she requires extras.  Her academic goals can be met in a general education class, it just may look differently.  Her social goals may not be able to always be met in a self contained class.  And it's even bigger than that.  The kids in general ed who she is playing with on the playground love her.  Kids see obvious differences, but with a quick explanation they usually go on with playing.  I've witnessed it.  It's the adults that hold them back.  So the big picture is society's acceptance.  The girls and boys playing with Kendall very well may become nurses, doctors, teachers, advocates, law makers, and voters.  If they remember Kendall as the sweet girl on the playground, or from school, her future will benefit from that.  If they think of people with disabilities as the kids in the classroom down the hall with the door closed, their decisions will reflect that too. Inclusion is a win-win.  Oh, and by the way, a least restrictive environment is also the law.

Trust me, if I could put both my kids in a bubble and protect them from hurt, and the evils in the world.....I would.  But my job is to train them to be loving, compassionate, trust-worthy, independent, contributing members of their community.  So while it's not always easy, I have to let my baby girl (and boy) fly.



The Henrys said...

Very, very well said!

Jennifer said...

Awesome post!!!

Karen Owens said...

What does school look like for Kendall? Angela is in regural ed classroom three days a week and now I think we are going to send her to the other two days. It scares me. Angela thrives in general ed -- like Kendall's class the kids LOVE her and she loves them. But I do want the communication things pushed and it justy can't be done in her 3 hour preschool class, where all she does in scream when she sees a therapist come in thinking that they are going to keep her away from her friend.