I have been thinking about school options for Ashlea next year.
Yes, the egg photo is relevant!
School is going really well for Emma this year. She has two lovely teachers - including one who is passionate about all things green. Emma's class is responsible for taking care of the school's rabbit, chickens and vegie garden. So far Emma has brought home a zucchini, some eggs and some figs for good behaviour.
Suffice it to say that I am happy with the school and would like Ashlea to attend there too.
There is a dilemma though. The school has a support unit for children with a disability. Do I apply for a place in the unit? Or do I apply for a mainstream placing???
At the moment I am leaning towards applying for a position in the unit for the following reaons:
- I don't believe Ashlea will get enough aide time in mainstream school. Does anyone have a child in mainstream that has an aide for EVERY minute of the day???
- I think the smaller class sizes will help her (8 children and 2 teachers)
- I want the close supervision of the unit - especially after transplant. I want to know she is being closely watched as she will be very medically vulnerable to begin with
- Ashlea has many physical issues that can be dealt with in the unit - tube feeding, not toilet trained etc
- Ashlea also still has a lot of sensory issues that result in screaming meltdowns during group time at preschool. I imagine this would be VERY disruptive in a regular classsroom!
- The unit also has phsyio, speech and OT on site so the children can do their therapy as part of their school program
My concerns with the unit are:
- What if the other children aren't very verbal? Ashlea really benefits from being around talkers. Although I do believe this can be overcome by having Ashlea in some mainstream classes such as reading and maths
- Even though they call it integration, really, it isn't
PLEASE leave me your opinions about schooling and what has worked for you and your child.
Remember that not only does Ashlea have a physical disability (CP), she also has an intellectual impairment, a visual impairment AND a medical condition.
At the moment I am leaning towards applying for a position in the support unit. I just don't trust that she would be given enough support in mainstream. And seriously, I don't know if I have the fight in me to alwyas be on the school's back making sure they are providing for Ashlea's needs.