Eli has an IEP meeting May 20th, which means we are deciding where Eli will go to school and what he is going to do. A couple months ago, I thought I decided I am OK with whatever will be chosen for Eli in this meeting. And it's not that I am not OK, I just get nervous. He will more than likely be going to Roy Elementary, in the Special Needs class. But whatever happens, I just want to make sure I am always his best advocate & on top of my game for what is best for him. Which sometimes seems overwhelming & hard--especially when I feel like I won't know what's best until I try something.
Then a couple weeks ago I entered Eli in a "lottery" for a charter school called Spectrum Academy, in North Salt Lake. It is specifically for kids with Autism, and they are put with kids that are at the same level as them instead of the same age. But it'd be a 45 minute commute & I believe they have already chosen kids so I might be too late for Fall 2014. So this is an option in the future--although I have a huge desire to start looking into how we can build a Spectrum Academy in Ogden!! Since they just built one in Orem, I think it's time for Northern Utah to start a Spectrum Academy. If anyone has ideas on how to start a Charter school let me know. Seriously.
If Eli could stay with the same 12 kids at Bravo Arts Academy up to high school, it'd be pretty cool. But then maybe he'd stop progressing after awhile, since change is healthy & helps people grow. Although, I will be forever grateful that he was able to take a therapist with him to Bravo, to help improve social & language skills for this last year. He graduates Kindergarten June 5th.
Eli does really well with his class of 12 kids, but when you get him in a big group he can lose focus. I think this is where he will struggle the most being mainstreamed, is in a class of 30 kids he won't be able to stay focused on the task at hand. And I know it's not fair of me to want my kid to be the distractor or need one on one help most of the time to stay on task, etc.
So I don't necessarily know what I want at this time for Eli & have many mixed emotions. So I must remind myself of what I do know & what I have shared before. But this knowledge is worth sharing, because it is priceless.
This is what I wrote awhile back:
""..hold fast to what you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes."
-Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
I don't know what Eli's future is going to bring. Maybe he will be ready for kindergarten next year, maybe not. I think it's OK for me to hope that he will be ready & do all I can do to help make that happen. But because I don't know, I need to remember the things I do know.
1. Eli is a child of God.
2. Heavenly Father loves Eli more than I do.
3. Heavenly Father knows Eli better than I do.
4. Heavenly Father gave Eli this struggle for a purpose. (And me this struggle for a purpose.)
5. I was given Eli to love, nurture, teach, & help him reach his potential--& am capable of this.
And last but not least.
6. Heavenly Father hears my prayers & answers them. (Not always how I expect them to be answered---BUT because He loves me & Eli & has a plan for us, I know He knows best.)"
I am going to stand strong, be my boys best advocate, be involved, & on top of my game so that Eli has the best chance to reach his potential. I love him so much and am grateful for who he is & the joy he brings into my life everyday.
P.S. If you didn't see my FB post about the Autism Medicaid Waiver, this is what I wrote:
I would be mad at myself if i didn't share--for 1 in 47 boys being diagnosed with autism in Utah, I really don't know that many at all...BUT maybe you do!! The Autism Medicaid Waiver program that has been a life changer for Eli has open enrollment until May 18th. It's for kids that have been diagnosed on the autism spectrum from ages 2 to 6 & if more people apply then they can accept then people are chosen by lottery. But it's worth a shot!! Please share with those who might be interested. This is where you can apply: http://health.utah.gov/autismwaiver/ if someone has questions they can ask me whatever!