Guest Poster: Sean Ashbee (Nathan's Dad)
Nathan started pre-school today. He is going to a Montessori school that is right on my way to work so I'll be dropping him off and picking him up most days. I brought him in a little late this morning so he would have a shorter day to get used to his new environment. I expected to stay for about an hour to answer a few questions and take some pictures. Nathan had other plans...
Nathan seemed happy enough as he walked up to his school with Bunny Bear.
Nathan's new pre-school.
Nathan was fine when he got to the door. When we went inside there were three women waiting for him: Darlene, Crystal, & Pam. Darlene will be his primary aid and Crystal and Pam will back her up. Nathan was a little overwhelmed and immediately turned and fled. Nathan was crying. I picked him up for what I expected would be five minutes or so to let him calm down. Five minutes turned into an hour!
I sat with Nathan and the three aids and we tried to come up with a toy that would distract him. We tried all the noisy toys that he normally responds really well to: a piano, a guitar, maracas. The maracas were the best - he started to laugh a little, took them in his hand, and then promptly threw them. But, the breakthrough came when Crystal went downstairs and got a "caterpillar ball thingy."
We had a lot of time to talk and his aids had great questions. This school is about 30% special needs kids, which to me feels just right. Everyone has a really welcoming attitude towards special needs and it feel like a really warm and supportive environment. Christine and I will be meeting with the staff on Thursday afternoon to discuss Nathan's curriculum (algebra, etc.).
Once Nathan was off my lap he started walking around and found toys to play with, things to grab, and baskets of toys to dump out. In other words he was happy doing what he loves best.
I think we've found a great school for Nathan. I'm sure Christine will have many more stories to tell you about it as the year goes on. I might even do a few posts myself - I certainly look forward to taking more pictures.
Sean (the Dad)