Monday, September 3, 2012
A Self Advocate Emerges
Tomorrow the boys start a new school year. They are excited and they are anxious.
Tomorrow also marks the first transition Cainan has had to make since entering Kindergarten. Since he started school, three years ago, he's been in the same Special Education class, with the same teachers and, essentially, the same kids (only 12 total). This year, he is embarking on a journey of complete community belonging, in a regular 2nd grade class, at our neighborhood school, with a new teacher and all new kids (over 20 in this class). He will have some supports, but not the hand-holding and individualized pace he's been used to. He's a smart boy--I we know he can do this. He's looking forward to the new experience.
As I've journeyed this last year toward becoming a better advocate for my kids, I've also tried to impart my knowledge and skills to my boys, in the hope that they will learn to be advocates for themselves. One of the biggest steps in this direction is occurring for Cainan tomorrow. As he starts his first day of class with these new kids and a new teacher, he's going to stand before them all and explain the medical diagnosis he lives with. He's going to help them understand why he may seem different in some ways to the kids and how in many ways, he's just like them--a regular kid.
We worked on the speech together and I wrote it out for him on index cards. He's been practicing and he's ready to get up tomorrow and share his narrative. I am so proud of him, that he agreed to speak without hesitation and that he's looking forward to helping the kids in his class get to know him better. He's expecting to make lots of new friends and learn all the things a second grader is supposed to learn. He has high hopes for this year, as do we.