Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

All By Himself

Today is a BIG day for Axel! Today he spreads his wings and goes to school all by himself. I'm so excited for him!

Mom has to get that "First day by yourself" video, of course.

He couldn't believe I wasn't getting on the bus with him! Oh, the grin on his face was priceless! It said, "Oh, no Mom? I am going to have FUN! (insert evil laugh here)" As soon as he realized I wasn't coming along, he started bossing the bus driver around. Little stinker.

I wish I could say I was comfortable with his classroom placement. I'm not. I'm still trying to decide if I'm making a huge mistake by sending him. He's come SO FAR behaviorally, and after my observations in the classroom over the past two days, he will be at significant risk of loosing the ground he's gained. Yes, he'll learn how a school a grossly understaffed classroom with teachers who can't communicate with him. This is NOT the fault of the district. Axel poses some very unique challenges to the district right now, that they've never dealt with before. Axel doesn't "fit" into any of the programs (and there is a wide range of programs in our district!) The number one problem is the fact Axel's primary communication is ASL, and he's growing vocabulary every day. Except that he doesn't have a hearing loss. That one tiny piece makes the whole communication issue with school muddy. I have another post coming about this, I'm just not sure what's ok to say here, since there are some people from the district who read my blog.

Don't think I'm leaving this alone! Those of you who've been reading here for any length of time know me better than that. Axel's needs will (eventually) be met.


Twilson9608 said...

As soon as I read the first sentence I felt the tears start to rise. He's not mine and I have never met you or your family, but I follow your blog and I feel as if I know you all a little. Im proud of him and my emotion comes partly from that and because I know too well what feelings that come with the first day of school-for mom's. He has come so far since you brought him home. I hope that he enjoys his first day on his own.

Scarehaircare said...

LOVE these milestones! And that grin is absolutely priceless. :)

Are any of the teachers willing to learn basic sign? I know there are vids available. Some would be better than nothing

Leah S. said...

Scare- the staff already knows "basic" signs. I have done an informal count (and his new ST will start doing a formal count this week) and Axel is somewhere around 500 signs. That means whoever works with him should have a vocabulary double what his is in order to introduce him to new language. Also, they need to be able to produce phrases, because that's what Axel needs modeled now. He's already doing some like, "Nice to meet you", "See friends at school" (he did that on the video) or "Papa's at work", "Mama went to the store", etc. And, as you know, if we give him a broken language model he will only produce broken language.