A Journey with Love and Laughter

Read about our family as we journey through life as a family, with siblings, school and spina bifida, and lots of fun and laughter along the way!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Meet the Teacher, Meet the School

We went to the school BBQ this week.
A chance to meet the teacher, a chance to look over the school.
An opportunity for Katheryn to show off her classroom
And for Nick to be out with a school full of children in his wheelchair.

I'm trying really hard not to make Katheryn's first year of school about Nickolas. This is Katheryn's time, Kathryn's thing. I don't want to take that away from her. We were there to see about Katheryn, have Katheryn show us around, show us what she is doing.

Katheryn was excited that we were going to school with her.
When we got there she became a little nervous and didn't want to leave our side. We went to the book fair first. Katheryn had already picked out a book she wanted, but then she saw the Princess book. That was it. Princess Birthday book (we've read it 3x tonight already).
It's one of the early reader - learn to read books
Nick went over the the bookshelf and said "Cars? Where is cars? There it is!" And never let go of his cars book.

Katheryn started to get more comfortable when we walked around the school.
She LOVED drinking from every water fountain we passed.
Nick tried to as well, but it was difficult to get his wheelchair into the right position (and he's still small).

Outside there was pizza and we had a little picnic in the playground.
Katheryn finished her pizza and then was off running and trying to play with bigger girls. Nick was off and going all over too. Climbing up on his wheelchair, off, up and down and wanting to go all over the place.

Kyle hadn't been to the classroom before, so when it was time Katheryn was ready to show him everything! This is where her cubby is, where she sits and eats, where she plays. We each had a couple of minutes to talk with the teacher. Katheryn is adjusting really well (no surprise there).
Katheryn is loving school!

But we had some Nickolas issues.
Wheelchair access.
Sure there is a ramp at the front of the school. But at the back there are steps that Kyle and I carried the wheelchair down. Going into the school from the back there was a ramp.
At the top of the ramp is the door, which opens into the ramp. So to get through the door we had to wait for people to stop so we could close the door, wheel in front of the door, and then pick Nickolas up the single step into the hall.
Not so accessible.
I was really upset about that.

The classroom.
I'm not sure how it would work with the wheelchair, and it wouldn't be able to get into the play area, which is down steps. But if he could move around with his walker? Hopefully that means that it will be better. He didn't particularly care the there were steps. He was excited to just crawl around and race around the steps. So I guess this makes it my problem (not his).
When we had to leave the play area Nick had a complete meltdown in the classroom. I had to take him into a corner and give him a time out before he finally calmed down.

I had a chance to talk with the teacher, be reassured that Katheryn is doing as well as I think she is doing. Also mention that Nickolas will be following next year (and we'll start setting things in place in November - hopefully). I may have also mentioned that I could volunteer if needed...

When we were leaving Katheryn and Kyle raced ahead (no running in the halls!) and Nickolas and I followed. Nickolas wanted to do everything himself. So I wasn't allowed to touch his chair at all "No Mommy! Nick do himself!"

If I was grading everything, I'd say the school would get a C in accessibility. But the night out was fun, even with the time-out.

1 comment:

  1. OH MY GOSH!!!!! It's never occurred to me that Nickolas is a school year ahead of Kingsley!! WOW!! Oh WOW! He'll be starting a year from now! That just blows my mind. Which is exactly what you need, right? ;) That's exciting. I'm so, so bummed that the school only got a C for accessibility. I'm amazed at the schools and buildings around here that are "accessible" in quotes only, you know what I mean? They are, but they aren't really. Things you don't notice until it's all you notice.

    Other than that, so glad Katheryn is doing well!

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