Diaries Magazine


By Babyjandbean
One of the many joys - and challenges - of parenting is making decision after decision after decision. Medicated or natural birth? breast or bottle? Cloth or disposable? Parenting philosophy? When to start schooling? Public, private or home school. And on and on it goes.
In the special needs world, there's even more decisions to make. Public or private therapy? Or both? Which therapies? Which tools for your child's sensory diet? Integrated, special or combination ed? Accommodations for your child in school? Higher ed? Finding the right doctors and clinics. Home, independent or community living? Financial plans for your child's future? Just to name a few...
I expect that the answers for my family will change as Bean's needs change over time.
Lately, I've been obsessing over a relatively minor decision - one that I don't even need to make until the end of summer - but I can't seem to let it go... Preschool Preparedness. He will most definitely do preschool at 3 years, but I'm talking about a toddler program.
Baby J, Bean's brother, had an amazing experience in his toddlers class. Bean will be age eligible for the same program in the fall. Here's the catch... He'll be just eligible, as in his birthday is just two days before the cut-off. He will probably be the youngest child in the class, not to mention that he has significant developmental delays. I believe strongly in integration but I am so worried that he just won't be ready. He's not able to follow even one-step directions yet. He's not verbal and he's just getting the hang of walking independently. I worry that the kids will run circles around him and he'll get frustrated. And then I worry that it's just me that will be frustrated and he'll do just fine. Then there's the whole separation issue. I think he would benefit so much from being around a group of peer models but I just don't know if this is the right thing at the right time for him. If he were 6 months older, absolutely! But his age puts him at an even greater disadvantage...
The school is very supportive and pro-integration. They welcome children with special needs but they suggested reserving his space and waiting to see where he is in August. I've asked all of his therapists for input and they all have different opinions. I did learn that our county runs a (free!) preschool preparedness program for 2-year olds that are receiving services, so that is an option, too.
None of this will matter if I am back to work by then - and I sure hope I am - because the boys will be in day care. So, I don't know why I'm obsessing over this. There's so many "what ifs."
If I'm not working, I guess it will be a game-time decision. What would you do?

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