It’s coming soon: back-to-school…or maybe just starting school, depending on where your children are in the process of things. If you are preparing to send your little one with CAS to school this fall, you may have lots of questions and concerns. We’ll devote most of August’s blogs to school and school-related things like lunch and snack ideas, mastering the schedule, and everything else that goes into a successful school year. For today, though–we’ll start with some basics.
I never once imagined I’d be sending my little 3 year old off to school on the big yellow school bus, but that is exactly what I did. She was a tiny whisp of a kit–barely 30lbs–with big blue eyes and deep red hair. We went shopping for a “first day of school” outfit and ended up with an adorable pair of pink plaid capri’s from Baby Gap…size 2T!! Who goes to school five days a week on a bus wearing a size 2T?! Little Kate did. And your little one may, too.
Like you, I was apprehensive. I was questioning whether I was doing the right thing. I didn’t know any better. I never had a kid go off to school before nor had I been exposed to apraxia. I took the advice and guidance of the early childhood staff, special educators, and speech pathologists…and of course, they were right.
The meeting before the school year began went something like this: “Mrs. Lindsay, Kate qualifies for services here due to her apraxia and verabal age of approximately 18 months. She seems to be a bright girl and we think she will benefit from our services. Here’s some registration information we need you to complete and get back to us in three weeks. Transportation services will be contacting you soon.” I gathered up my two kiddos, the boat-load of paper work and made my way for the door. I wanted to cry. I felt so overwhelmed. But I couldn’t, not for the sake of the girls.
In the months leading up to the first day, we talked about buses–pointing them out whenever we saw them on the road. We got excited about school by doing other things, too:
- Checking out and reading books at the library on schools and buses
- Buying backpacks
- Playing at the playground at the new school
- Driving by the school on the way to run routine errands
- Practicing saying the teacher’s name
- Staying excited about school myself
You know what else the school personnel told me during that first meeting? “She’s going to do just fine here, Mrs. Lindsay. She will be talking at age-appropriate levels by the time she graduates in two years. We’ve seen this before. We know what we’re doing.”
And you know…they were right.