We already know exactly where Geetle is going to kindergarten this fall. In fact, since they only have one teacher, we know who will be teaching her, too. The only question left is whether she’ll be in the morning or afternoon session.
Pookie’s kindergarten plans are still very much up in the air and we’re still trying to decide what we think is going to be best for him next year and beyond. If he goes to special ed kindergarten, that will be in one of two school’s (the district hasn’t made the final decision where they will be moving special ed yet) and neither of them will be the same as Geetle’s. If we force the school to put him in a normal kindergarten, then he will be in the same school as Geetle and we will probably have to decide if we want them in the same session or separate.
I’m a big fan of trying him in the normal kindergarten. He’s been very fascinated with kids his own age recently and I think having typically developing classmates will be a huge opportunity for him to start to get used to how to handle typical social interactions with friends that will hopefully be his classmates for years to come.
In preparation for sending Pookie to a classroom that may not have a special ed teacher or even a dedicated aid assigned to him, I’m planning on signing Pookie (and Geetle) up for a music, singing, activity type of park district class that will meet once a week starting in April and running through the end of May.
Our park district has a great system where they provide an aid to help any kids with special needs. We have used it when we signed the kids up for swimming lessons. This time, I’m going to talk to the aid ahead of time and explain how we want them the aid to provide as little assistance as possible so that he can work on really following directions from a one teacher environment where he is supposed to really mix in with the rest of the class.
One thing that usually happens with Pookie is that he almost always surprises us with his ability to do well with most of the scenarios that we put him in.
My biggest concerns with him in a classroom right now are his bounciness and the echolalia. He’s getting much better about being able to stem the echolalia when we ask him to, like during story time. And he normally does pretty well with the bounciness as long as he understands what he is expected to be doing.
The only way to find out what will happen, of course, is to put him in the situation and see what happens and then work with him on any difficulties that might arise. I still remember this time last year when one of my biggest concerns with his kindergarten possibilities was getting him potty trained beforehand.
I guess parents are always able to find something to worry about.