Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Conflicted

Our holiday break was so nice. Besides seeing so much of my family for a whole week, the five of us got to hang out and not give a thought to anything responsibility related. For me, that was especially evident in the 'time off' from therapy and school conversations and research about this that and the other. And for Ruby that meant time for her just to be her. Amen.
But when we returned we had a lot waiting for us. A new school for Ruby and registration for next year for Ruby. All within three weeks. Ruby's new class, a special needs pre-K at Maddux's elementary school, started slowly, with a few holidays and snow/ice days, but it was obvious from the get-go that Ruby loved it. Unfortunately, the first full week she had was the same week I had to register her for the following year at her previous (private, 'typical') preschool. Unsure of what exactly to do, I opted to register her for the 3-year-old class, 3x/week. She will turn 4 just before the school year starts, but I think that may be a better fit for her than the 4-year old class, where she would be the youngest in her class.
So here we are, now a month into her current school, and I'm conflicted. I've always been very pro-inclusion. Always in favor of starting as we intend to go. Always on-board with Ruby participating with all of her typical peers. That's why she's been at a private preschool, and that's why we've signed her up for it next year as well. But in the last month, in an environment that we've not wanted for Ruby, we've seen Ruby blossom in a really cool way. She has picked up some new words, spoken out more in school (her speech at school resembles her speech at home now, and it never did in her private preschool), she is rocking the potty training, and she is happy!
 It's so hard to know what the right thing is to do. Do we continue to push her to be in a typical classroom because that's what we want for her once she hits Kindergarten? Or do we let her stay in her special needs pre-K because we know she is getting more help with the things she needs help with there in an effort to best prepare her for the typical environment in a few years? Do we fight for her to be in the private preschool next year so that she can learn how to speak up for herself and learn by watching others? Or do we give her more opportunities to be with the teachers that are trained to help her learn her way?
Too many good arguments on both sides of this, and my brain hurts each night after running through the list of pros and cons on both sides constantly all day. For now, we have decided to continue to enjoy the great things we are seeing for Ruby in special needs pre-K. When we have our IEP in May, we will weigh everything again and see where Ruby is at that time.

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