checking out schools

Janneke, it's a bit early for you to go to school!

This morning, while Rachel was in program, I had Janneke wheeling around NPCC. She was determined to join the NPCC school Valentine's Day assembly, as well as tour as much of the halls of the centre as possible. Finally, a place to scoot where she doesn't have to ram into doors, walls, and furniture!

It's that time of year again when we need to figure out Rachel's school plans for September. The school/day care therapy she is in currently is a one year program, so plans must be made for the new school year. This is an intimidating process. Ask most parents of a child with special needs, and they will share with you their concerns for adequate support staff, equipment, physical layout (stairs!) and applicable program - regardless of school district or school board.

Whether it is physical delay, developmental delay, medical issues or behaviour management, the extra stress placed on the classroom teacher and school also causes anxiety for the parent who must advocate for the best scenario. There is no perfect system for these children, and there exist both encouraging and discouraging stories of children who transition from the children's centre therapy teams to the mainstream schools.

Within the building of the NPCC but separate of the centre, there is a small school (through Ministry of Education) that works with a selected and limited group of children. The intention of the NPCC School is to help children with that transition - to eventually attend a mainstream school program. One of the objectives is to help with communication, something that obviously helps in any typical school day.

We are so thankful for the program Rachel is currently in. I can only hope that we will be as thrilled with the next step for her in September, whatever that might be. We will not learn what that will be until May or June. We do hope that she will receive tools/strategies that will help her communicate and be part of a community of friends. Where this will happen remains to be seen.


Praying for peace,