During Asa's IEP a couple weeks ago we discussed him attending a preschool program a couple mornings a week starting in the fall. We all agreed this would be great to help prepare him for Kindergarten. The school recommended our local Community Center because their program was strictly Preschool and not a Daycare Center. They called and the only openings they had were in Toddler Times, well, we all know that Asa is not a Toddler he is 4 years old. With lots of question marks Asa's SLP and I decided we'd go and take a look, looking didn't mean we had to commit.
On Tuesday we went with Asa and visited with the director of the program, though we agreed Toddler Times was not the correct fit for Asa they did have a opening in one of their 3 year programs. This we agreed would work and they wanted Asa and I to come back Wednesday to meet the teacher. I was lucky to have both these days off, but working for 2 weeks straight I was hoping that 2 whole days wouldn't be consumed by a preschool placement.
Long story short, the teacher of the 3 year program wanted to make sure Asa was a good fit (ah, hello, he's 4 going into a 3 year room), my eyebrow raised I humored this woman and let Asa work his magic. As we sat on the floor and Asa played cars with 2 other boys, the teacher says, "Oh, I think he'll be just fine" no shit Dick Tracy do you live on an alien planet? There was lots going on so we were kind of in the middle of things and all the other kids were getting ready to go to the pool. I asked about paperwork I needed to fill out and the teacher went to get it, she then asked if we'd come in the bathroom. I thought this odd that we were going to fill out paperwork in the bathroom, but there was a lot going on and I thought maybe this was a quiet spot :-) We sat on a bench and the teacher sat beside us, she point blank said she was concerned with Asa's potty training. She didn't want Asa's pottying needs to take away from the class if we couldn't get him semi potty trained by the fall. Totally understand but for Asa it's not about not going on the potty, he just doesn't understand the sensations vs. the functions and the results of both. There were a couple kids going potty at the time and Ace was completely entranced. They asked if he wanted to try to go potty and he immediately said NO. Don't blame the kid, it was quite the room full of pottying and washing and watching! As we discussed Asa's potty practice, the teacher and director mentioned that if we couldn't get Asa's potty training down in the first couple months of preschool that they would have to bump him to Toddler Times. Ah, Um, NO! He is not a toddler he needs to be with kids his age and his social and academic level, not kids half his age! How is he suppose to learn and be challenged if he's not given the opportunity?!!
I immediately emailed the director at Asa's school district when we left and told her what was said. She was just as pissed as I was and said as the providers the school district will do all that they can to help in this situation. For me, it was a label being placed on Asa's forehead even before the teacher met him and that hurt. It hurt my soul, my heart, my being, and so the fight begins. I have my battle gear ready and the Momma Bear claws out. Ignorance is so annoying, I'm ready to break down that wall and it's going to start with this woman who just doesn't quite understand, she's nice enough and a perfectly fine teacher, but there's something lacking in the human understanding. The box is closed on all four sides and we need to make a window for the light to shine in for her. We have all summer to work on the potty, and I know Mr. Sunshine can do it. It just sucks that the battle is there and not everyone realizes there are differences and you have to accept them and be passionate and respectful.
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- My name is Jackie and I am a mother, wife, friend, sister, daughter, cousin to many, and a dreamer of sorts. I dream of many things and one is a life full of acceptance, achievement and success for my Super Hero son Asa. He's got extra good stuff that comes with a little thing called Down syndrome. We live in the beautiful state of New Hampshire with our 2 Bulldogs; Rosie, Frankie and 36 chickens.