I said I would let you know my new plan for Eli--& I would do it pretty soon. First off, I shouldn't tell people what I am going to do, because usually the opposite happens unfortunately. I was hoping to post before our vacation--but it never happened & I am gonna quickly let you know what we decided for Eli next year, right now. :)
First we were going to meet the teacher at Freedom Elementary for his life skills class, if we felt like it was a good fit--we would then sign the papers & that is where Eli would be going to school. So we met the teacher--seemed like an awesome lady & I was feeling excited for Eli. Well shortly after meeting the teacher, the lady in charge took us to the meeting room--me thinking we would be signing the papers--but instead she tells us that Eli would no longer be going to Freedom Elementary & instead Roy Elementary. Which was the first bummer--although I am sure Roy would of been fine. The BIGGEST DECISION CHANGER was that they weren't going to let Eli's ABA therapist go to school with him.
As soon as she said this, my mind was made up. Because I already had the impression to give Eli another year to try and catch up--and Chad & I had a back up plan.
He will be 5, August 23. So I am guessing the deadline for school is Sept 1st (correct me if I'm wrong), so Eli misses the deadline by a week! My first hope was that they would let Eli do another year of preschool--but that wasn't even an option. And in the IEP meeting (a meeting you can have each year if your kid has special needs) when I talked about letting Eli do another year of kindergarten--they first let me know it would be hard to make that happen BUT they think parents should make that decision with an emphasis on it being HARD to do. :)
Oh my goodness--I hope I am not writing too late and this all makes sense when I am through!
So IF Eli would of went to Freedom Elementary this year--he would go to school ALL DAY Monday through Friday in life skills--then have his 15 hours a week of one on one therapy with his ABA instructor. And I just thought of this little boy, barely 5 who still falls asleep in the car when I drive anywhere at 4PM--going to school all day & therapy on top of that each night. His little brain being exhausted, tired, & never having time as a family or to himself. So when the school wouldn't allow the therapist & I knew it'd be hard to hold him back if I ever wanted to--it felt SO RIGHT to take him out of the system this coming year.
We decided on Bravo Arts Academy in Washington Terrace. He will be going to kindergarten there. It's nice because in his preschool he had a lot of peers as examples & at Bravo it will be the same. I like that. It will be a small class & his therapist gets to join him! Which I like cause I can ask the therapist how Eli is doing with the kids! And his therapist will know what the teacher expects & can work on those things with Eli. And I am sure his therapist can help determine how to help Eli with social skills.
Anyhow, I feel at peace with my decision. Eli is coming a far way--he just graduated preschool & is going to summer school. His therapist is working on Eli's alphabet & it's so nice to see him start to recognize letters & learn the alphabet song. Just yesterday his therapist asked him out of ten letters, "what is this letter?" And Eli said, "Y." Then the therapist said, "point to the letter R." And Eli pointed to the right letter. I am THRILLED.
So that's the plan: Bravo Arts Academy--kindergarten. Then I am sure they will test him again next year in the public system & my goal for him is Alternative K. It's a step up from life skills. Then I hope for him to be able to start going to 1st grade 2015. It's nice to have goals. I am going to shoot for the stars & hopefully be emotionally prepared if life deals me differently. No I will be ready.
That was a short post, right? Ha ha. Night. If you have any questions let me know! Also, they are opening the program for 35 more kids with autism. The ABA program that I seriously LOVE!! If you know anyone that has a kid with autism--(I think they have to be 5 & under unfortunately, but I can check)--that would LOVE to have a chance for these services please let me know!
(Also, I am not mad at the school system. I understand that the people really do want what's best for the individual child--but there's rules that need to be followed which is just part of life.)