Tuesday, September 17, 2013

To start school or not to start?

Since May, my son's speech therapist and service coordinator have been telling me about preschool. After he turns 3, Gio can no longer receive services from Child Find, unless he goes to preschool. I found out, however, that he can receive speech therapy through Medicaid. When I found that out I was a little relieved because as his third birthday gets closer I just don't see Gio ready for school. Preschool is not like daycare. It is a very set routine and takes a lot of discipline. It's probably my fault, but my son is not very disciplined. I know preschool would be so good for him especially right now that he's so eager to learn, but because I lacked the need to really discipline him and teach him how to behave in a way that he would be prepared for school I'm leaning towards waiting a year before sending him off into the world of education. He has the mentality of maybe an 18 month old and I don't know many mothers who would send their 18 month olds to preschool. However, I have realized that I have not been pushing him as much as I should. It isn't because he is "special needs" or because I feel like he isn't capable because he is VERY capable and VERY smart. He is amazing at learning things visually. Anything you show him he will imitate and have down in a matter of minutes. He is the sweetest so I know I'm afraid that he wouldn't defend himself if another kid were to be mean to him. He is so eager to please and loves sharing. He of course has his moments where he would rather play alone, but that comes with being an only child. I haven't necessarily neglected his learning I feel I have just tried to enjoy him as my baby. He may be a little behind, but like a friend reminded me, I am also here to push him to his limit and beyond so that he succeeds in all he does and doesn't use his own disability as an excuse for anything. I have determined myself to teach my son and catch him up within the next year. So that come next fall, when all the kids are preparing for school, he will be a part of that. He will be excited for school and to play with the kids and excited for all that he will learn. He is so clueless right now, which is what I think hurts me the most about trying to put him in now. His dad and I have both decided we can't baby him anymore and we need to push him. We have decided to teach him ourselves along with help from the therapists provided to us by Medicaid to prepare our son for preschool. It may not seem like a big deal to some, but it is a HUGE deal for us. Most parents don't even consider putting their kids in preschool or do it because they are too old for daycare. This is so much more for us than that. At first, his dad was mad at me for even considering preschool because he wasn't raised that way. Now that he has seen how much it will help Gio he is as determined as me to get our son ready for next year. This is the beginning to our son's education. I've been lazy and I've been slacking, not realizing that the one truly being affected was my son. How can he succeed if we do not expect him to reach for the stars? If we allow him to settle for average? I'm still learning and making mistakes, unfortunately, is how we learn most of the time. Gio has taught me so much, I meed to return the favor and teach him all he needs to know. We're growing up together. 

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