Last Day of Preschool

Yesterday was Jax’s last day of preschool for the year. I can’t believe how fast it went. It’s been incredible watching him grow and learn.

He’s counting to 20 mostly on his own, can sing most of the alphabet, and is starting to learn his colors.

One of the children in his class has a sign language interpreter, so he’s learned a lot of sign language, too.

Unfortunately, he’s struggling a lot with behavior and impulsivity. There have been multiple times when he has run away from his teachers and gotten into unsafe situations. This happens at home, too, so we weren’t surprised. But we were hoping that he was just testing Steve and I and that he would make safer choices at school.

No such luck.

His teachers think it’s mostly sensory avoidance and sensory seeking that is spurring the impulsive reactions. He has issues with almost every sensory system (visual, auditory, touch, and vestibular) so it’s a lot for him to manage. He seeks out extra sensory input for his vestibular system (movement) and avoids imput for the other systems.

His sensory issues and his ADHD are a perfect storm for running away and unsafe behavior!

Last week, we had Jax’s IEP meeting. An IEP is an Individualized Education Plan and it is the document that Jaxson’s teachers and therapists reference while planning for Jax’s time in school.

I was punched in the gut during that meeting.

His teachers are recommending that Jax do only special education preschool next year. (This year, he did half special ed and half mainstream.)

They used words like: defiant, oppositional, spectrum, and anxiety when referring to Jax’s reaction to his environment. Jax has none of these diagnosis’ at this point, but the intervention and therapies are similar for all of these issues.

I’m sure that’s why it was easy for the teachers/therapists to use these words during the meeting, but I wish that professionals would consider the impact of their words on a parent’s heart before casually tossing them around.

This change feels like we’re going backwards. I’m sad that Jax tried a mainstream class and couldn’t succeed there. The promise of “catching up by two years old” is a distant longing. In fact, the older Jax gets, the more obvious his delays are becoming.

I am so proud of him! He has come so far and has worked so hard. His happiness shines so bright and his laughter can turn any bad day around. No matter his path in school, it is my deepest hope that he holds onto that light, that happiness. But he is getting to the point that he understands he is different and that breaks my heart sometimes.

My job as his mom is to fill him so full of love and hope and kindness that he can ward off any negativity with a smile and a shrug.

I can do that.

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Author: Andrea M

Oh man, what an adventure! I went into labor unexpectedly when I was 23w3d pregnant. Jaxson was born weighing 1 lb 8 oz. A tiny little peanut, but boy was he feisty. He still is! We love it now, but we probably won't when he is a teenager. I write about our journey and all other things that come with it, including a brain tumor. We look forward to "meeting" you - come hang out with us...we're pretty cool.

5 thoughts on “Last Day of Preschool”

  1. This post is all too familiar to me (well, my parents). I was born at 25 weeks in 1990 (1 lb 8 oz, dropped to 1 lb 1 oz) and I was in a self contained special education preschool. I was self contained for Kindergarten and in first grade they decided to mainstream me for LAL, I did well with that, so they did it in second grade. I did so well in second grade that they mainstreamed me full time for third grade. All throughout school, I had an IEP, but I was never back in self-contained after that. My sensory issues decreased as I learned coping mechanisms (I taught them to myself) and my ADHD eventually turned from Hyperactive into Inattentive, which made my teachers happier – and I discovered coping mechanisms to help with the ADHD.

    Now, almost 26 years after I was born, I hold a Bachelors of Arts in Special Education – I graduated with a 3.6 GPA.

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    1. Oh, and I was born July 28th, 1990 and I was discharged from the hospital about a month before my due date of November 11th.

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  2. I was there with you, only for a fraction of time, when your story began and my story cannot at all compare to what you all went through. But I can share a small glimpse. My oldest son, now 15, was always a little “different” than other kids. But as a first time mom, I had no idea what to do. After starting preschool, I heard many of the same things you heard. But it wasn’t until he was in 1st grade and had the most wonderful teacher ever, that we finally pursued assessment for him. I will never forget sitting in that meeting and hearing autism spectrum and aspergers syndrome and ADHD and fighting back tears, but at the same time feeling a sense of relief for answer’s and the possibility of getting help for him. I have left many IEP meetings, only to make it (barley) to the car sobbing. But we have also celabrated many successes. He has been able to go from 2nd grade having a para with him full time to now, after finishing his first year of high school, he is receiving so few accommodations, he will soon be dismissed from special education. He has a small group of great friends. He worked hard and obtained a black belt in taekwondo. And this summer he is excited to have a job and can’t wait to have money so he “can buy all the things that he want to!” We have learned to love and support him and celebrate all of the successes!

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    1. Dana – I will never forget your kindness the day that Jax was born. Thank you so much for sharing your son’s progress with me. That’s great news that he is doing so well!!

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