Preparing For A Change In Education

The last couple weeks have been a bit hard… emotionally.

We’ve officially started the process of transferring schools from public school to the special ed school. As of Monday April 1st, he’s been going to school for half days at his small public school from now until the end of the school year to create a happier day overall for him while attending and being a part of the things he still loves and having less frustration in the school day as the afternoon approaches. He still gets to play and be with his friends, attend therapies as usual and specialty classes such as music and art with his classmates. He enjoys and is known to have a happy and social lunch time with friends too, so mama picks him up now after lunch!

As much as we were praying to be able to keep him with all of his friends through elementary school (5th grade here), he’s no longer obtaining information on the cognitive levels of his peers (which is just fine!) and is still steady at a 3-4 year old level of understanding + conversations. Since Owen goes to school more for socializing rather than learning at his level of 2nd grade, we know that at his new school he will absolutely THRIVE and enjoy it just as much as he’s always loved any school he’s attended.

We’ve had many tours and talks between the two schools as we wait for our final IEP meeting coming soon to go over all of the details. Owen has toured the school in the meantime and did really well and seemed to like it! We had lunch at his ‘faborite’ Hungry ‘Bobo’ when we were finished and then went home for a really long walk. All of the photos in this post are from that day.

Within that time, he missed two days of school that week so we could adjust a little and gather our senses. We enjoyed a handful of long walks to get some fresh air, and have done some things that makes Owen’s heart happy. This includes slurping on lots of strawberry banana smoothies! :) He also took a photo of Ran + I looking at each other in the car on the way to his tour, which I couldn’t get my heart to stop thinking about. When I sit back and visually see the things that make up his world of happiness, life is a little easier, calmer and a reminder to appreciate the simple things. This is only one of the main reasons why God knew I needed him as a son in this life.

The only thing that makes us sad for this is not the change of schools itself, as children thrive the best and become their best when they are in a surrounding that is made for THEM. But with our horrible diagnosis, it’s just another “notch on the heart” kind of moment. The move itself will be joyful, although dealing with change is always something we will have to adapt to for a little bit. But it’s really just the timing and knowing that “we are here” at this stage that hurts a little. Ok, a lot.

We know that they have all of the resources available to him as time goes on and his daily routine there will be very relaxed, laid back and happy. We know he won’t be able to graduate just like his friends after high school, he won’t move away and start a family. I know that I will never get a chance to hold a grandchild of my own from O as I grow old.

He won’t do “all of the things”...

Walking down this hall of the few in this school, I had a HUGE whirlwind of emotions. On the right hand side I saw the preschool line up. Their tiny little coats and bags gave me a flashback to when he was in preschool, where our search for a diagnosis began and all of the emotions, frustration, and confusion that I had then. And on the left were wheelchairs, standers, etc all lined up along the other side of the hall. My heart sank and was crying uncontrollably in the pit of my stomach while somehow I kept myself together on the outside, knowing that he would hit each and every hallway here of learning, stabilizing, regressing, relocating, learning, stabilizing, regressing and relocating rooms again and again. His cognitive ability matches those on the right side and his future is lined up on the left.

A single photo is worth a thousand words, right?!

But this period of time right here in the moment, is a happy one, knowing that he is “graduating” with his classmates at the end of this year, to celebrate his accomplishments, his strength and his ability alongside his friends and those who know him best, to continue to be as happy and as successful as much as he can be.

(Pause while I cry here in the booth at Panera Bread while typing this and try and regather my shtuff. As I sit here in my “warrior” shirt and wearing his bracelets, I can’t help but breakdown when people look my way and think my inner shell is as strong as my outer one… On this specific day, there is a little girl doing cartwheels down the aisle of booths. So, thankfully, she’s stolen the spotlight away from my blotchy face.)

I, as a mama, will never be selfish for my boy, and his needs will always come first! So we wanted to share with you the start of this new part of Owen’s Story and know that you all will be right here beside us with your support and encouragement!

On a seriously happy note, after the last couple weeks of this new routine: YAY FOR HALF DAYS!!! I want to say a BIG thank you to his current school for always adjusting to my child’s needs as changes have came and went. Our boy has been SO happy because of this change!

We will take one day at a time.

We will enjoy one day at a time.