I had a really challenging special-needs mom experience today. I was really excited for G to have his first swim lessons. But the class sucks. I mean, it flat out sucks. There are two teenage lifeguards assigned to a group of 12 preschoolers– three of whom spent the entire 40 minutes in hysterics because they didn’t want to go in the water. At one point, one teacher left to bring a child to the bathroom. It’s far away, and they were gone for 15 minutes (almost half the lesson). So, the other teacher tries to coax the crying children into the water, leaving the other eight kids wandering around in the water with their noodles. I found myself feeling sad, angry and conflicted over the situation. To begin with, it was completely unsafe to have all those kids unsupervised in the water. So, I was angry that the class was understaffed. But it made me very sad to see G looking so lost. I think if the same thing had happened to S when she was that age, I would feel angry about it, but I would feel like adding a teacher would probably solve the problem. With G, the situation made me feel very helpless.
Archive for June, 2012
I signed G up for swimming lessons next week. Just regular old, run-of-the-mill swimming lessons. Fingers crossed.
School’s out for the summer. I am so grateful to all of G’s amazing teachers… but especially to his classroom teacher who created such a warm, loving and respectful environment for our children.
We had few families over for a BBQ last weekend. I was greeting guests, when I heard a squabble erupt over at the swingset. I walked over to find G and a friend both standing with two hands clamped on the yellow trapeze bar. The friend’s dad was about to intervene, when S stepped in. She looks the friend in the eye and says (in a very calm and kind voice), “I think you should let go and give G a turn. He has autism, and it makes it hard for him to remember how to share. If you give him a turn first, he’ll let you use it next.” It was quite a moment.
I had quite a day yesterday. I had my first events as PTO chair. The day began with a very powerful meeting with the school committee and superintendent (yes, you read that right). We are lobbying to get the district to consider upgrading the facilities of the preschool. MUCH MORE on this later. From there, I went to a meeting with the school social worker to discuss how to support families whose special needs kids enroll in the school during the year. And, finally, there was the very joyous end of year picnic. I’m liking this PTO Chair thing…. but I don’t know if I can keep up this pace all year