Thursday, March 21, 2013

End of (Preschool) Days

Sensitive to applause, Little A covers his ears to be sure.

The hat is a little bothersome, so off it comes.
Today, Little A officially ended his preschool days at the school he's attended for three years. Once again, children in the class wore togas, but since they are a mixed group, the 4 year olds sometimes stay another year to complete the Kindergarten level at this school, as Little A did. Several of his classmates were those he'd been with for a year or two, and one had been in the same class since the first year they both attended the school.

Little A's class danced, and while he had been practicing assiduously for weeks in the classroom and performing some of the steps for us at home, he was stage-shy, and followed the blocking, but did not do any of the steps on stage. The class then sat down to take turns announcing to the assembled audience what they wanted to be when they grew up (Little A held up a sign in lieu of speaking), and then again taking turns to receive their "diplomas".

It was a monumental achievement in the life so far of a young boy, particularly mine, as many children with autism who mainstream in preschool years do not go on to do so for grade school, either because of the lack of available inclusion schools with support programmes, or because parents feel the child would be better off in an entirely SPED setup, all things considered.

Little A's future school is still undecided, as we await news from the school he tried out last week. That bridge will be crossed as it gets here. More urgent is what's in the present - his summer schedule.

Easter is upon us next week, and then Big A has declared a trip to the mountains for the week following, so we all get a bit of a break. Beginning April 1st, however, a plan must be quickly put into place and instructions disseminated to Little A's team.

Apart from his regular OT and Speech therapies, his home ABA teacher will continue to come and do lessons with him. I do plan to enrol him in a music and/or art class, and to attempt some Integrated Play Groups, after attending a most excellent workshop the other day detailing some of the requirements, benefits and a basic program outline.

Little A knows that this is a new time for him. While I told him several times that after this day he would "no longer be a Toddler but a bigger boy," I wasn't sure he really understood that he was moving up and moving on. On the way home though, from lunch after the commencement exercises, he solemnly typed in his iPad "IfyouhappyknowitToddlers". I could be wrong, but am taking this to mean he understands, and that this is his way of telling us he was happy at Toddlers Teachers Inc, and is feeling bittersweet about those days coming to an end. 

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