I finally got Tot all registered for Kindergarten for the coming year and I’m trying to ease my thoughts on it. For months now I’ve been on edge, having headaches and continually worried about what was going to happen come fall. It seems so much harder when your a Stay-at-Home Mom and you have an ASD child. My son hasn’t ever been away from me for more than a few hours in his whole life. Unlike my first, who could easily stay the night at friends/relatives, my Tot had too many communication issues and routines to comfortably be away overnight. It certainly has subtracted the majority of my husband and I’s personal time, but it was so unimportant in comparison to his happiness.
So now I’m facing a full day of Kindergarten. Most Moms are rejoicing, probably pumping their fists in the air and waiting for their joyous vacation into the realm of Sanity, but all I imagine is the knot in my stomach.
It isn’t just the hours that concern me, but the list of headache inducing worries:
- Will less teachers per classroom be capable of keeping an eye on him if he escapes to come home? We live so close and although he’d tried it twice since he started Early Ed, there was 2-3 teachers per 11 kids without the dozens of children already in the hallways.
- Will he be able to focus if he’s placed in a room without an assistant? He can’t sit still without prompts for more than a few minutes. What will happen if he gets up and starts clapping around the room or distracting other kids?
- If he throws a fit in the classroom, whether tossing himself to the ground or throwing something down in frustration, how do the teachers handle it? I’ve heard so many horror stories of teachers losing it on special needs students and the improper use of restraint. Don’t get me started on seclusion rooms.
- What happens if he gets picked on? He’s always been in classes where the majority of the children have IEPs and their own unique quirks and now he’ll most likely be in a larger more typical classroom.
- What happens when kids are mean to him when he doesn’t comprehend meanness? I’ve seen little boys push him down and he would laugh. Kids making him say things so they could laugh at him and he think they’re being friendly. I know it’s something he’ll have to grasp one day, but will it burst the beautiful little bubble of joy that he is?
- What happens if he wants to come home or he wants his Mom and Dad? At any moment where he’d get overwhelmed, freaked out or just not handling things well someone was always there to call us so we could help out the situation or bring him home. This would be the first time that someone might say he can’t have us, he can’t go home and how will he handle that?
If it wasn’t for him so badly wanting to go to Kindergarten, the incredibly wonderful teachers at the Early Education building, him wanting to ride the little bus to school and see all the friends there are to see… I would have argued for home-schooling. There are too many bad scenarios in my head; special needs children are so fraught with difficulties in the public school system, bullying and abuse. I honestly don’t know how all these brave parents do it., but I guess I have to learn how to start being one of them.
We still have his big IEP coming up where we meet with his Kindergarten alongside the teachers/specialists at his current Early Education school. They should know after a stretch of time sitting in the classroom with him, what his needs are and we’re hoping for a smaller class with an assistant. It is where I can voice my concerns and afterward I hope to go home a little lighter.
For those of you that have went through a similar process. Did it become easier? How did your kids cope with starting Kindergarten?