Monday, February 24, 2014

Decisions decisions...

I have been a little stumped lately...you would think I could put it out here on the blogosphere and let go..I usually can...that's why I blog to release myself...I am not one for disclaimers as in your going to be offended and I really do love my daughter...but I have taken a self pledge to not apologize...I think as women that's what we do...we say sorry for everything...not looking perfect all the time...not having the best behaved children...having a well lived in house...or even having a opinion...a couple months ago I commented on a blog and it went viral because a women didn't like my opinion...that is just not how I role..I like debate ... I also like teaching my kid to think for themselves in all aspects of life...I do not tell them to believe in anything or everything...they get to decide for themselves...and that includes Maddie...so with all that; here is why I have not blogged in ages...because I am going against the modern Down syndrome parent advocate push...we are putting Maddie into a FLS room for her elementary career...I know I can hear the "say what's", why??  FLS means functional life skills...I think that is self explanatory...I know many out there want their children to be in full inclusion...but I have a expert in my back pocket...and we defer to him on all things with Maddie...why? Because he has worked with many people with Down syndrome for many years and he has also raised a child born with Down syndrome...and this is what he suggests...why? Because it's not a race to get Maddie to learn her abc's or 123's teaching Maddie is a marathon...and it takes more people then one classroom teacher...with the FLS room Maddie has a low child to adult ratio...why not a aide? One word -dependence...I do not want Maddie dependent on one person for anything...I want her to think for herself...I want her to learn like she needs to...not how 18 other kiddos do...also the one on one aide here in Wyoming does not have any real training...not specifically teaching children with Down syndrome...but her FLS teacher does...so the fit for Maddie works...do we still have to fight...of course they just don't give out speech, OT, PT etc...most important the school and classroom want her...and that is important...Maddie is verbal but not to the extent that she can tell me if she is being hurt and who....so I rely on people to tell me about her day...I need to trust these people completely...and I cannot expect them to watch my child plus 18 other children and expect to get a good report...is Maddie ready for kindergarden...nope...she is not...not even close...but we have over stayed our welcome at her preschool...why? Because they do not know how to teach Maddie...they try...but really Maddie needs more and different instruction, cues, environment...is Maddie more alike...in some things yes...but not in her learning style -she is different...and that is ok...Maddie thinks for herself and has to be redirected  and reminded...Maddie is Maddie...she is loud, sassy, and thinks she already knows everything...and it's ok for her not to become the cookie cutter learner or student...Max is not...he is his own person and I love that about both my kiddos...it will serve them both equally well...Maddie has a bright future ahead of her and I accept that she is different then the typical anyone...I am not going to sit back and pretend that life with Maddie is amazing all the time...I am not going to pretend that her being the smallest and the cutest doesn't get to me still...because it does...Maddie is just a kid that needs more...and the best...so guess what I found the best in our town and I am fighting tooth and nail to get her in...it is not a sure bet that she will be accepted...they do a lottery draw to determine the school your child attends..but I have name dropped, called, emailed, introduced, and reminded that I want Maddie to have the best...so cross our fingers she gets in...or I am not sure what we will do...

8 comments:

  1. I am crossing my fingers for you too!

    Just as a side note, all three of my girls will be in very different settings next year. They each have unique circumstances and we have chosen to give each one what we feel is best for that child. You are doing the same thing for Maddie, so don't listen to any negativity about your choices :-)

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  2. It sounds like you made a great choice for Maddie. We're about to start the IEP process for Ben to enter PreK3, and I'm not sure what we're going to do.

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  3. I've got your back - You do what's right for your girl. I sent my son to a specialized school for his needs. I'm glad there are integrated programs in the public schools - but that doesn't make them right for everyone. Options. Find the best option and trust yourself. That's what I say. :)

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  4. Glad you wrote about this. You're doing what you think is best for Maddie and that's all that matters. I hope she gets into the school you are wanting her too...And I hope you continue to share your thoughts and experiences as Maddie heads off to school :)

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  5. Yep, you totally did the right thing - you know best what will be best for her, and a fully-inclusive setting isn't the right setting for all kids. So many people get up on their soap boxes and preach it, until they realize that it's not working for their kid. And, if they keep their kid in that environment *just* to make a point, the child suffers by not learning the things that are important. I'm glad you're making a rational, logical decision that will benefit *Maddie.* :-)

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  6. Good on ya Kim!
    Awesome sounding program, I wish there were options like that here for us too! I wonder why we feel we need to justify ourselves in this Ds community,

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    1. Our kids are InDIVIDUALs - not one size fits all !!

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  7. I enjoyed getting to meet you briefly yesterday at the pool. Before I introduced myself I noticed your two kids playing together. It was sweet. Maddie is such a fish! She had no fear of the water and I was so impressed with her sense of joy. Max was an impressive big brother as well. You are certainly doing something right. I hope you get Maddie into the classroom you feel is best for her.

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