Anyone that has followed our journey for long knows that Sylas K has struggled in school. Really, really struggled. It’s just been dang difficult and we haven’t really felt successful. Until he changed schools. He started at his new school about a month before the end of the school year last year, went to summer school there and started back up at the beginning of the semester. Tonight he had his first open house there and was so so excited to show off his awesome school!
His school is about an hour and twenty minutes from our house. So the local school district buses him there and back each day. Thank God! It is a highly specialized school and man do they meet his needs in a way a typical school setting just can’t. They can accommodate and modify the environment as needed. He still has behaviors, becomes overwhelmed and struggles but it just isn’t a huge deal. He doesn’t get suspended or sent home. They address it, work with him and then move along.
Everywhere you turn in the school you will find sensory items galore! They even have a discovery center with an entire sensory hallway complete with a multitude of textures, sights and sounds to meet a variety of needs. He was really excited to show me the puzzles and the huge light bright he gets to play with.
Sylas K is quite the animal lover. He has always had a magic touch when it comes to animals and babies. I swear he will grow up to be a horse whisperer or a midwife. The school has chickens, Gertrude the duck, rabbits and they are in the process of getting goats and micro pigs. Hello! This kid is in heaven! Tonight he wanted to show me where they go to gather eggs in the morning and was shocked to find that the chickens laid eggs again. He carried those two little eggs around for quite a long time.
His teacher Miss Patricia is pretty dang amazing. She manages a classroom of 11 high needs kids very similar to Sylas. She is so positive and strength based and seems to find the bright side. In fact, everyone at the school does. His first IEP meeting ended with me crying like most IEP meetings do. However, for the first time ever I was crying happy tears because they gave me hope!
Tonight as we walked through the school I again cried happy tears. My son is happy, my son feels successful and my son is thriving. We have never had a music program or attended a school event before. This was our first opportunity to experience a “traditional” school activity and it made us both feel like a million bucks.
This time last year I was wondering how I was going to continue to work with him being sent home and suspended all the time. This time last year I was searching for hospitals and hoping he wouldn’t hurt himself before I could get him in. This time last year I had absolutely no hope that things were going to improve.
Tonight I tucked him in bed and told him how proud I was of him and how happy I was about his school. As I flipped off the light I realized how hopeful I am for the future again. It’s amazing what a difference a year makes.