Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Kindergarten (again)

We made it.  First week back to school under our belts.  Teachers. Parents. Daycare.  We did it!  

Okay...I would like to say  that this is the first year of all the school years (for N-Zilla) that I the mom have had a positive-fabulous-optimistic- and all the happy words in the thesaurus experience with A) new school B) new teacher and  C) first week.

*Back track
Lets go back to the end of last school year May ARD.  In this ARD we made the decision that N-Zilla would continue another year in Kindergarten. In his scenario I think it would benefit him and after a few years of trial and error in the IEP process towards the end of last school year I felt very comfortable with the ARD team. I was being heard and I was hearing them. We all had the best interest of N-Zilla. I took classes at ANY BABY CAN and Brighton ECI with Janet Fitzhugh to understand better the ARD process, my rights and responsibilities as the parent and N-Zilla's rights. I got to know the Spec Ed teacher, the OT therapist, the speech therapist, and most of the other members of the ARD committee.  We worked really hard on N-Zilla's new IEP. Most ARD meetings are not like your typical parent/teacher meeting. They can last few hours and in some cases weeks if it is "tabled".

*Fast Foward
N-Zilla is now at his home campus. He is in his 2nd year of kinder and at meet the teacher night I felt relief. (Little fun fact N-Zilla's Kinder Teacher was my daughters Kinder teacher back in the day aka 2008.) 
Every year the school picks a theme for the year one year it was gardens/flowers, next was safari.  This year-Super Hero! Yes Super Hero.  What a way to peek N-Zilla's interest.
Now for the best part of all...N-Zilla's Teacher.  She read his IEP.  Yes, those things in the ARD.  That thing that I and the rest of the ARD committee worked so hard on last school year.  She read the ARD!  Mrs. C was being Proactive instead of reactive.  Sounds small especially at Meet the Teacher Night but it made a difference.  Many times I hear, "He seems fine to me" or "He looks normal" or "Tons of kids do that" or "Are you sure it's not just you" Or "cut the cord mom".   I take these statements with a spoon of sugar and as a compliment because it means that I and all the people on N-Zilla's team are proactive not reactive. It means that in 6 years I've learned to think like N-Zilla and so does his Kinder teacher.  It means that OT therapy and Speech therapy twice a week does wonders. Shout out to Miss Jenny and Mrs. Megan!

A huge shout out to Ms. C!  Walking into the class room visions of Ryan Gosling with his thumbs up wearing reading glasses saying it's gonna be cool Adee, it's gonna be cool. She had his space ready for him on the carpet and his desk.  Even the spot for his pack-back or as I use to call it the pack-pack.  It was perfect. Knowing what to expect daily and having a visual is N-Zilla's method of operation.

Added bonus, because my older kids went to this Elementary I am familiar with some of the staff. Like Son Number One's 3rd grade and Tag teacher. So comforting really she's the best.  Yes the best.
I've got a good feeling about this year. Not every day is gonna be all the positive words in the Thesaurus. Some weeks are gonna end with a bottle of Wine and NetFlix for either me or Ms. C (or both) but I feel so good and safe that lines of communication are open, N-Zilla's has eyes around the school, and most of all Ms. C is his teacher and what we don't know we will learn together.