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I turned around and, all of a sudden, my son was off to his first day of Kindergarten! Really? Where does the time go? I didn’t cry. Many moms do. If Facebook had a word cloud for my friends’ recent status updates it would highlight “crying,” kindergarten,” first day,” “my baby,” and “I’m old.”
Honestly, I was happy.
I wasn’t happy because I’m a mom that doesn’t like to hear my child’s voice yelling, “Mommy,” 1,000 times a day, because I love that! I was happy because when my son, with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), entered Pre-Kindergarten two years ago, at age three, I had a difficult time imagining that he could and would progress through any of his significant delays and challenges.
At that time my son was non-verbal, he struggled with sensory processing difficulties, he didn’t socialize—I could go on, and on, and on about the ways that autism was affecting my son. My son’s Pre-Kindergarten years were two years of great transition for him (and me). They were very difficult, yet very rewarding. He began to speak, engage with his surroundings, and play with other children. And, then, before I knew it, I was meeting with my son’s Kindergarten transition Individualized Education Program (IEP) team, and touring every public and private kindergarten classroom within a thirty mile radius of my house.
Now, I have a Kindergartener that’s finding his new classroom and routine to be both challenging and gratifying. And, again, we find ourselves experiencing, exploring, and enjoying life’s defining moments and continual offer of transitions.
For information regarding special needs and schooling, check out these great links:
School Community Toolkit: http://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/tool-kits/school-community-tool-kit
Getting Ready for School: http://www.tacanow.org/family-resources/getting-ready-for-school/
IEP Tips and Links: http://www.tacanow.org/family-resources/special-education-tips-links/
Visual Helpers: http://momcoloredglasses.com/mom-info/visual-helpers/
Special Needs and Safety: http://momcoloredglasses.com/mom-info/special-needs-and-safety/
An Essential Handout for Teachers and Aides (The Gluten-Free and Casein-Free, GFCF, Diet): http://www.tacanow.org/family-resources/an-essential-handout-for-teachers-aides/
School Supplies (Gluten-Free, Casein-Free, Soy-Free, GFCFSF): http://www.tacanow.org/family-resources/gfcfsf-school-supplies/
Kristina (MA, MLIS) is the mother of a fantastic special needs son, and a TACA parent mentor volunteer. She is not a doctor, lawyer, or therapist. For more information regarding special needs and autism, visit Kristina’s blog, Live, Love, Laugh,and Autism, or follow her on Twitter at KristinaMamma.