"Lo, Children Are An Heritage of the LORD: and the Fruit of the Womb is His Reward" - Psalm 127:3

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Difficult Decision About Preschool

 My four year old started preschool this week.  I know this is a pretty routine decision for most people, but it was a huge thing for me.  We homeschool and I want to continue to homeschool.  But we found out this Spring that this precious little man has autism, and he has four therapists that were coming into the house every week.  I'm fine with that, but they thought he would make more progress by attending The Learning Center - a place where they specialize in special needs.  This picture was from day one.  He was pretty nervous, but excited.

He had a great day (and has had a great week) and it wears him out. :)  (Bonus!)  He has done so much better than we or the therapists ever dreamed.  Already I'm seeing huge changes.  Ultimately, I made the decision equally for my own benefit as for his.  At home he is very clingy and I can't even make dinner without tripping over him.  I don't mind him always being near me, but it does make it a challenge to get much else done.  And I thought that by doing this, his two year old brother could have a little space and attention too, and maybe homeschooling his nine year old brother would go better too.  Plus, he only attends for three hours four days a week, so he's mostly still at home.

 This morning I found him out on our playground equipment with his backpack on.  He told me "I like preschool" and he was ready to go.  Of course it's taking a little getting used to - both for him and for me.  For instance, today I had to come back home to get his shoes...  I still have daycare kids through this month, so we're having to load everyone up to get him to school.  His brother was supposed to get his shoes, which he did ... and then left them sitting in the house.  Oh well.  At least for now we're close to the school - ha.  It's been great having Bugga (Grandma) nearby.  She has helped by either staying with the daycare kids during nap time when I have to pick him up, or she picks him up and brings him home.  Things will be so much simpler when the daycare is closed.  For now, I'm appreciating the extra income.  Next week starts up our homeschool group's swimming lessons.  I had kind of hoped the daycare kids would all have new homes by then so I could take the two year old to the Aqua-Tot class, but it's not going to work.  The lessons are at the same time as the four year old's preschool, so it would have been perfect.  They are planning on doing another session in October though, so we should be able to join that group :)  The nine year old will attend the first classes.

By the way, in the picture above, little Tom Sawyer told me that stick was a fishing pole.  His imagination has grown by leaps and bounds even just this week.  He had a stuffed animal wrapped in his blanket this morning and told me, "It's a baby. It's a boy." (the blanket was blue).  And there's been a lot of talk about "I'll be the Dad."  Even though we have daycare kids here every day, they mostly don't play house.  So it's fun to see how fast he's adapting.  He even voluntarily washed his hands WITH SOAP!  I can't tell you what a huge accomplishment that is for him.  A symptom of his autism is that he's very sensitive to different textures - slimy soap being the thing that sets him off faster than anything.  They learned all about germs the first day and everyone else washed their hands.  He refused.  But later, he told his "inclusion specialist" (she is his personal shadow for the time being) that he needed to get the germs off his hands -and he washed them ... with soap :)  Such a big step.  And we're only on day four today!!

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