Thursday, June 23, 2011

Back to School

Little A went back to school last week, and I marveled at how far we have come in 2 1/2 years.

When he started playschool at 16 months, we pulled him out after 3 months, because he couldn't engage with the teachers and didn't seem interested in the group activities. A year later, I enrolled him in a preschool twice a week, and not only were his teachers terrible, he was bullied constantly.

Midway through this first semester, we finally got his ASD diagnosis. He began therapy, but when I asked if he needed a shadow teacher and a more structured school program, his clueless teachers couldn't give me an answer. He spent most of that semester crying, and I gritted my teeth and waited until he moved into the next class, hopefully with better teachers.

When the schoolyear started last year and he started attending classes thrice a week, we were finally advised to find him a shadow teacher, a process that took close to three months to complete. Once they had adjusted to each other and the regular teachers, Little A began to really enjoy school.

By the time classes ended last March, it was difficult to tear him away at the end of a day. He happily attended his summer classes, and come this month, when he has been enrolled for daily classes, he bounces into the room without even waving me goodbye.

While he still has a way to go yet before he will be "big school ready", he has shown great improvements in being able to tolerate sitting with the group, following the class schedule and the like.

Academically, he is ahead of his age group in some ways - reading and spelling, but he needs work with writing. We're working on math skills now, and hopefully he will prove as astute with numbers as he is with letters.

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