school talk

This morning, we had our weekly session at the children's centre. Janneke receives physio at 8, and then Rachel alternates each week between physio and OT (fine motor skill practice) at 9. The therapists often discuss with me the goals for the two girls, and we also talk about future plans. Today, I was reminded that Rachel will be eligible for school in the fall of 2010. Wow. Ralph and I have to learn more about that transition, and we have some big decisions ahead of us. Should Rachel attend school already in 2010, or do we want to wait until SK age in the fall of 2011? Bigger question: Where does she go to school?

I have not been encouraged by the stories that circulate from families who have transitioned from the centre to "regular" school. When the child is school-aged, they transition also from the team of therapists at the centre to the team available through the community programs. That means a switch from not-for-profit children's centre to profit-based agencies... and the range of experience and training is wide. From what I have heard, the transition for some families has been difficult.

I try to picture Rachel in the classroom, and I can only wonder from a parent's perspective and my teaching perspective as to what it all looks like. It makes me smile to think Rachel potentially would enter the classroom like a queen with two assistants - an aide and a nurse.

When we talk what kind of school, I am reminded of our visits to Elim Christian School, a school specifically designed for children with special needs. Back in our Minnesota days, Ralph and I used to take our grade 8 classes through the school for a 2 hour tour when we had our annual class trip to Chicago. Yeah, that's where this amazing school is, Chicago. Sigh. Even when we would ask the students to rate the various aspects of the trip, they would give Elim (and the bus ride!) the highest points - compared to touring Navy Pier, Shedd, and Sears Tower.

Well, at least we don't have decide today. As Rachel's posture suggests, I shouldn't worry.

And speaking of today, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to LAURA, my marathon/iron(wo)man stepsister way far away in Victoria, B.C. In two days, she and Rhodes will be getting married. Most of my family is there already, celebrating. We will celebrate over here - and wait for an Ontario reception. Congratulations to you, Rhodes and Laura, and may your day be a blessing to all who witness.