Today, Arizona starts 2nd grade. It is her second year at a mainstream public school in a general education classroom. For the 2.5 years prior to coming to this school, we crossed town in lots of traffic to get to Cheerful Helpers Child & Family Study Center. And because it was such an instrumental factor in Arizona’s social and emotional development, I happily made that drive.
But today, I am grateful for a neighborhood school, 5 minutes from our house, where Arizona receives an amazing set of services FOR FREE.
Earlier, we met Arizona’s new behavioral aide (BII) Melanie, who will shadow her throughout the school day. In addition to a full time aide, Arizona will also receive resource support, occupational therapy and speech therapy. I am optimistic about the year ahead!
This morning, I met a new Mom in Arizona’s classroom. She made the comment “Wow, Arizona is so tall!” I said, “Yes she is, but she also just turned 9.” I went on to explain that Arizona has special needs and had a late start to life but that here we are – in the perfect placement with the absolute best peer group surrounding her. So although she is sometimes up to 2 years older than her peers, she is in the right place for HER.
My heart is overflowing with gratitude today – we have come a long way!
Would love to hear your FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL stories too! Good luck, ALL.