Monday, August 13, 2012

Rethinking School

The past few days, I've been emailing with Dean's teacher for his center-based (special ed.) classroom next year. She is GREAT. So different in her approach to all things Dean and to our parental input. She wants to make sure that for their cooking lessons, she makes something that Dean can eat (!), she wants to document Dean's dietary needs in multiple forms, she doesn't use food as rewards in the classroom, and she is fine with us managing Dean's food however we need to. Wow. This definitely makes me feel more confident about how they will handle Dean's food issues related to PWS, and again, is so different from this past year.

Also, they are going to work on potty training! Since I posted that we were going to attempt it, Dean has done ok. Some definite victories, some definite misses, but to be fair to Dean, we haven't gone full-throttle with it. So I am thrilled that they are going to work on this at school. Definitely helps us out.

Another bonus is that Dean's teacher is also an SLP! She might be my new BFF. What a blessing to have a teacher who has exactly what Dean needs. So Dean, in addition to getting speech therapy 2x/week at Children's, will get ST at school AND have an SLP for a teacher. Love it.

Finally, as the summer is (sniff, sniff) coming to a close, watching Cole and Dean reminds me of how much they need and crave structure. I posted about how Dean exhibits a higher degree of repetitive behavior when there is a relative lack of structure in something like school, playgroups, etc. We do plenty in a day, but it's not the same.

All these things considered, Bob and I have decided to try sending Dean to the FULL day of the center-based days. That's the default; we were just going to pull him early, after lunchtime, so that he wouldn't get too tired. But we think that, after an adjustment period that he and Cole will both have in their new environments, it will ultimately be best for him.

This means that Dean's school schedule will be:
Monday - half-day at his typical preschool, then speech therapy at Children's
Tuesday- full-day at center-based
Wednesday - half-day at typical preschool, then speech/OT combo at Children's
Thursday - full-day at center-based
Friday - full-da at center-based

And that's not even factoring in PT if we continue that! It's a LOT for a three-year-old, but putting it all together, that's what we've come to. The best thing? We can change it all if we need to.

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