From birth to 3 years old, Nathaniel received services (occupational therapy, speech/communication, etc) through the county. It was fabulous, they came to our house once a week and worked with Nathaniel. I believe it made a big difference for him. Once a child turns 3, those services are provided by the school district. We moved just a month after Nathaniel turned 3, so after I got all the kids into school, I started figuring out what services could be provided for Nathaniel.
Later in the fall, Nathaniel started going twice a week to a pre-k class at an elementary school in our district. A school district is an entire county around here. That was interesting. And we happen to live at the edge of the county, so the school where they have special needs classes is about 45 minutes away. Of course, when you live way out on a ranch like we do, lots of things are 45 minutes away. Like the middle school that we are assigned to. Anywho. I felt that the class was a good place for Nathaniel to be, he had a one-on-one nurse, a teacher who knew sign language, and also an ASL interpreter in the room signing everything that was said. There were 9 kids, and about half with hearing/communication challenges.
Nathaniel with his teacher on his first day of school.
Nathaniel just loved going to school! After watching all the brothers and sisters go off to school, he was very excited to be big enough. I drove him to and from for quite awhile, listening to plenty of talk radio, conference talks, and books. And just pondering, which I realized I missed once I didn’t have to drive him. The school district was trying to figure out how to get a bus over to Nathaniel, when none of the bus routes to that school went anywhere close to us, and also how to not have a little 3 year old on the bus for too long. Finally in April or May, they decided to outsource, and hired a “driver” for Nathaniel. A black SUV picked up his nurse, then him and took them to and from school. Oh, he felt so special to have his own “little black bus”, as we called it.
Even though I want Nathaniel with me, and I want my young kids close to me, I prayed and felt that Nathaniel should go to school 5 days a week this year. He needs to be in the signing environment and extra help learning. The school district has figured out a way to have an actual school bus take him to school this year. Last week, they bus driver did a trial run to see where exactly we live. We saw a school bus come and stop at our house. The driver came out and up to our door! So we got to know her, and talked about logistics, and I am feeling excited about it! I hope he is okay with a “big yellow bus” instead of a “little black bus”.
I will miss taking him to the zoo with our zoo pass. We took a selfie on the zoo train.
This Thursday is the first day of school, but unfortunately, Nathaniel won’t be going on that day. His heart surgery was rescheduled for that day. See my prior post here about that. But in a couple of weeks he will be off to school! He has actually learned a lot over the summer. He loves to count (he is pretty good up to 30), he recognizes letters, and he puts his finger over each word when I read to him.