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!"

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A very different post about school

So this post is about Axel's school. I could say, "Axel's school is amazing. It is everything I envisioned for him and more." And end the post right there. But that would just not do his program justice.

Axel is the only (and the first ever) hearing child in an all-deaf special education setting. Last spring, while it was a little early for him to be starting school, I was quickly brought to the realization that he is FAR more of a visual learner than I ever thought. His level of sign language usage was far beyond that of any of the classroom staff or other students. (this was not their fault, just not their area of training.) He needed a program where he could communicate with staff AND students naturally.

It wasn't easy to get him into the program he's in. But, everyone who sees him there agrees, it is perfect for him. He is coming home with not only 4-5 new signs every day. (how many days of school so far this year???) But he's using them in ASL sentences, such as showing me how the clouds were moving across the sky, or how a car crosses the street, and how he gets on the bus. It's amazing, and I'm so happy.

I thank God every day for his wonderful teachers and support staff, many of whom have experience with older adopted children, and ALL of them have worked with students who've come to the program with NO language whatsoever.

It is not all roses though. The thorns are Axel's behavior as he learns to function in the world without my at his side. To learn that he's accountable to mom and dad even when he can't see us. (see my "Voice of God: Developing a Conscience" series that I have yet to finish. LOL) This is a whole new world for him, and he's having to learn so many things all at once.

So, while I may get frustrated with Axel, and the things going on in school, it's familiar territory for me, and I know it's just a natural process that we will continue to work through. All of us (teacher, support staff and myself) truly feel like a team.

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