You'd think after yesterday's post that today's entry would be anti-climactic. Well, you'd be wrong. I have the most wonderful news.
Today was my "Transition Meeting" with the school district to begin the process of transitioning Gavin to an appropriate Kindergarten in September. I went through this last year - knowing that I wasn't going to send him to Kindergarten. I intended to keep him home for another year in "pre-school" - unless they came up with a school that blew me away. I wrote this "letter" to the school district during the experience - urging them to see Gavin and not just look at paperwork while they made their decision.
In the end, I kept him home and all of his therapists and his teacher came to him. It worked out great and he got a lot stronger during that time. Then they opened up a brand new multiple disabilities classroom - using an empty classroom in our local Kindergarten Center. He started there at the end of August and it has turned out better than I ever expected. I'll never forget the day they called me to say YES - Miss Sara could go to school with Gavin. Everything just fell perfectly into place.
The Kindergarten Center is a lovely place and is so close to home, which is a plus! All of the staff members and the Principal are loving and passionate about the students - it's very clear to see. I'd be thrilled if both Gavin and Brian could go there! Here is a video from their website - made before Gavin's current classroom was there.
Gavin is so happy at this school. He walks up and down the hall and is recognized by new friends and staff members. When I thought of where he might go next Fall, I was really hoping that he could stay at the Kindergarten Center. And hoping, too, that they would allow Sara to continue there with him. I had my speech prepared and brought Gavin with me today for the big meeting.
I would like to write that my speech (and Gavin's adorable face) won them over and they said that we'd be getting everything we ask for... but that would be a lie.
The truth is, I walked in there to three women who already gave thought to this. They were extremely supportive of Gavin staying at his current school!! And when I asked if they thought that I would have a problem keeping Sara with him as his aide, they said they wouldn't be opposed to it. The next step, of course, is to submit all of this to the school board who makes their official suggestion for his schooling... so I was sure to attach Gavin's adorable photo to the "all about Gavin" page. Can't hurt, right? And the details, such as how much therapy he'll get, who will be in charge of his special education, etc. have yet to be fleshed out. This will require a lot of thought and planning.
My ultimate goal is to get Gavin into a place called "Camp Hill Special School", which would provide him a private Waldorf education. We went to visit there last March and fell in love with it. I am hoping he can start there in first grade. I think a year at the local Kindergarten Center in a mainstream classroom will do wonders for him in every way. I'm just so happy today - and I didn't have to do anything!!
The other news is - we have a date set to bring Gavin to see Dr. Bönnemann! If you recall, we were referred to him after Gavin's exome sequencing results came back. He works at the National Institutes of Health - but has a waiting list that is very long. (Like, we could wait a year or more kind of long.) So he offered to see Gavin when he is visiting Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC. We'll be seeing him on January 22nd. I'm going there with little to no expectations. It will just be nice to have a fresh set of eyes on our little mystery boy.
And finally, our other student in the house is doing so well! He continues to love school. His new interests are trying to sight read words - and write his name!
I am feeling like a very proud...and very lucky Mommy tonight!