Friday, June 3, 2011

Decisions

One of the many joys - and challenges - of parenting is making decision after decision after decision. Medicated or natural birth? breast or bottle? Cloth or disposable? Parenting philosophy? When to start schooling? Public, private or home school. And on and on it goes.

In the special needs world, there's even more decisions to make. Public or private therapy? Or both? Which therapies? Which tools for your child's sensory diet? Integrated, special or combination ed? Accommodations for your child in school? Higher ed? Finding the right doctors and clinics. Home, independent or community living? Financial plans for your child's future? Just to name a few...

I expect that the answers for my family will change as Bean's needs change over time.


Lately, I've been obsessing over a relatively minor decision - one that I don't even need to make until the end of summer - but I can't seem to let it go... Preschool Preparedness. He will most definitely do preschool at 3 years, but I'm talking about a toddler program.

Baby J, Bean's brother, had an amazing experience in his toddlers class. Bean will be age eligible for the same program in the fall. Here's the catch... He'll be just eligible, as in his birthday is just two days before the cut-off. He will probably be the youngest child in the class, not to mention that he has significant developmental delays. I believe strongly in integration but I am so worried that he just won't be ready. He's not able to follow even one-step directions yet. He's not verbal and he's just getting the hang of walking independently. I worry that the kids will run circles around him and he'll get frustrated. And then I worry that it's just me that will be frustrated and he'll do just fine. Then there's the whole separation issue. I think he would benefit so much from being around a group of peer models but I just don't know if this is the right thing at the right time for him. If he were 6 months older, absolutely! But his age puts him at an even greater disadvantage...

The school is very supportive and pro-integration. They welcome children with special needs but they suggested reserving his space and waiting to see where he is in August. I've asked all of his therapists for input and they all have different opinions. I did learn that our county runs a (free!) preschool preparedness program for 2-year olds that are receiving services, so that is an option, too.

None of this will matter if I am back to work by then - and I sure hope I am - because the boys will be in day care. So, I don't know why I'm obsessing over this. There's so many "what ifs."

If I'm not working, I guess it will be a game-time decision. What would you do?

4 comments:

  1. It sounds like you have already made up your mind. I would wait! I know it's important with WS kids to get them all the help they can get, but like you said, he would be the youngest. I think he would be able to learn better once he had better verbal skills and could walk better. You don't want him to have to learn everything at once. You'll make the right decision!! <3

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  2. Thanks, Ruth! I think you are right!!!

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  3. I think that is what we do...worry, obsess, and then just for good measure right down the pros and cons!! I am thinking about this with Maddie...I have a home daycare and I really feel she gets what she needs form this environment...and we sent Max to only 1 year of preschool at age 5 and he was mature, ready and rocked it...I think the same for Maddie...that she will go to 1 year of preschool and then into Kinder...at age 5...she will be in school for a LONG time...why rush it...but then on the hand..is this a wrong decision...am I looking at as though she is Max not Maddie...I do not know...but I cannot wait to hear what you do!! smiles

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  4. I'm thinking about kind of the same thing with Kieran (he'll be 3 later in the year) -- whether to put him a (free) public daycare class for where he can have various therapies each week ... Whatever you decide, it will be the right thing -- and I'm sure you can always modify or change your plans in the future based on how things are going. :o)
    ~Stacia

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