Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My child – the school boy!

Elliot starts preschool on Monday.

IEP – check.

Teacher home visit – check.

School open house – check.

Mom – still a wreck.

We visit the pediatrician today for the well-child check-up. Elliot will have his repeat liver panel, which, by the way, I have been avoiding like the plague. I have ruled out autoimmune hepatitis and other not so nice autoimmune diseases, but we still do not have a definitive answer as to why our son has liver fibrosis. As noted, we think that his gallbladder (now gone) caused the issues, but today’s test should either confirm he’s a-okay or it will send me on another rollercoaster ride to hell and back.

Although quite possibly an impossibility, I need for Elliot to remain healthy at school. He’ll attend Monday through Friday from 8:30 until noon. I will cart him to the same grade school that Nora attends (she is now entering second grade) and Isaac will hang in the car with us as well. The BUS (gasp!!) will bring Wee E home everyday.

I donated a multitude of sanitary, antibacterial wipes to the classroom. I have discussed with everyone under the sun at school the importance of keeping Elliot ‘disinfected,’ his areas of play clean, and him specifically AWAY from those who are even the slightest bit snotty nosed. But yet, I am petrified. Elliot gets a cold and bam; it’s pneumonia in a week. Then there is the dreaded H1N1 garbage. I am not quite comfortable with the vaccine (or rather series of THREE) that I need to stop reading about.

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) Elliot is the only child in a classroom of 16 that has discernible disabilities. He weighs 20 pounds and he’s three; he drinks from an infant bottle (still, only Pediasure…no food); he’s the only kiddo in a wheelchair and he still does his self stimming stuff tapping his mouth. I did see one child that had cochlear implants, but other than that, these children all seemed pretty typical to me – no chromosomal enhancements, no autism, no…well anything that was apparent to the naked eye. I was told that there were five-six children present that had special needs, but I saw nothing other than one dear child with profound hearing loss.

Needless to say, the other kids (and their parents) were drawn to Elliot last night. They all wanted to touch his head and pat him like a baby.

“He’s three like me?”

“Why doesn’t he talk?”

“What’s he doing with his hand?”

“How come his stroller doesn’t look like mine?”

We’ll get through all of that – and Nora will discuss it with her classmates as well. She has a ‘me bag’ and is to bring three items on the first day that represent her – we have a ballet slipper, a mini horse figurine and a note that says “proud sister of someone with Down syndrome.” It will most certainly open discussion up in HER classroom. So proud of her, by the way!

So yes, the only one with disabilities that he wears on his sleeve. He WILL draw the kids in – I have already seen it. He WILL receive an abundance of extra attention. But he will also be a germ magnet and everyone in class will want to play with Elliot – weather sick or not.

Alas, I can no longer keep baby boy home with me…cosseted in his clean little bubble. He needs to learn and thrive and grow, and I admit that I am not a specialist by any means. He will receive PT, OT, speech and some special therapy that they mentioned yesterday with regard to communication. He has his own toy area (that no one else can touch). He has a one-on-one para educator (who lives up the street no less). He has everything that he needs, except me for four hours a day.

Can he do it? Most certainly, YES!

Can I ...?


rustinlane.blogspot.com said...

Hang in there! Rustin started last Feb after he turned 3 and I was a nervous wreck. His teachers and therapist were awesome and loved him and he loved them. The only real problem we had was he rode the school bus to preschool after the "big school" and the preschool complained that he was coming wet. Well after talking w/the "big school" apparently a bus ride makes u pee but they are under strict instructions to change him b4 he gets on the bus and the preschool changes him when he arrives even if he is asleep!! good luck my friend!

Stephanie said...

I was offered the opportunity to let Aiden ride the bus, and I passed. We live less than 5 minutes from the school.

Elliot will do fine; take this from someone who has been sending her little to school since he was 1!

Mommy to those Special Ks said...

YES you can! You will do great!!! And so will Elliot! :)

Kelly Zimm said...

Elliott is going to do great!
You are an excellent mom and you will do just fine too!
We video recorded the first time Layton rode the bus home and every time I watch it, my heart swells and tears sting my eyes. He's now going into 2nd grade and he LOVES the bus!
Hugs to you!