Sunday, January 20, 2013

School Days

   We had made it through the first day of school, and we had also had an opportunity to visit the school and meet all of the teachers. I cannot say enough about this group of ladies. They were caring, kind, genuine, funny, and they adored my son.
   I remember walking in one day to visit, and there was my Mikey ,seated at the teacher's desk with his feet up on the desk!! They were all so amused that he thought he was running the class, while making himself quite comfortable at the same time. In all honesty, these ladies did a great job working with Mikey. The school itself, was full of terrific, caring individuals who displayed a tremendous amount of patience. There were field trips, carnivals, and plenty of special events. Knowing that we would only be able to send him there for a short time made me a bit sad. You see, this particular school only accepted the children up to
kindergarten age, so it would not be long before we found ourselves in search of the perfect school again.
Until that time, I was going to take comfort in knowing that he was in good hands.
    There are many things that a parent of a special needs child worries about when sending a child off to school. As I had mentioned before, Mikey did not speak, so I really had to rely on the people working with him to tell me what had happened each day. This required a tremendous amount of trust. I, am not necessarily that trusting, especially when it comes to my children. So , while we used a "communication notebook" to send messages back and forth each day, Mike would often stop in on his way to or from work to check in and make sure all was well. What I loved about this school is that it had doors so that we were able to see what was going on in the classroom, but the people in the classroom were not able to see us. This
let us know that they were indeed going about their normal daily activities, and  not just putting on a show for visitors.
  There is also the issue of potty-training, which in most special needs cases comes later(sometimes much later) than with other children. The idea of having someone else change his pull-ups, and work on potty training with him , was extremely unnerving to me. I wanted to be sure that he was being treated respectfully, kindly, and that is why Mike made so many unannounced visits.
   The team at the school really was top-notch. We grew very close, and they absolutely adored my husband. Whenever I would stop by, they would ask me where he was, and tell me how much they loved him. I remember being on a field trip with the class, and Mike was set to meet us a little later in the day. All of the ladies wanted to know where he was. When he finally showed up, they were all excited, and giddy , like a bunch of school girls. Jokingly, I said to them" Okay, ladies, what is it about my husband that you think is so wonderful? What is so special about him?" They responded, " Well, he is cute as a button, and more importantly, he loves his son. He comes to check on him all of the time, and that is so important.Some dads find it very difficult to handle the fact that their son or daughter has special-needs, especially the sons.Some never come to school. It becomes a matter of pride..your husband put his pride aside and just does what he can to help his son.That is why we all love him." Then they asked me if he had any brothers! We all had a good laugh, and of course, Mike was slightly embarrassed, but the ladies were right about him...he was,and still is , an amazing father.

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