|Curious Cat Award for always being full of curiosity about the world.|
In my history of parenting children with special needs for over two decades, the end of school usually means the end of meltdowns, the struggles of my children being misunderstood and the constant educating and fights for services and accommodations for their educations. I looked forward for school ending and having a blessed summer of no stress. I could work on building back up their self esteems that were by the end of the school year bottomed out.
This year is different. I do not want second grade to end. I just put Mac on the bus to school for his last day. His last day is met with this Mom's tears and sobbing. This is surprising me. Who would have ever thought that I hated for school to end? I do not want this year to end.
|Mac and Friends|
|Mac and his friend who has been at his side since Kindergarten|
This year I have seen a team and a school that believes in my child. They got it right. They got to see beyond the wheelchair, beyond the anxiety and beyond the lack of being able to talk to see and know my Mac. He has friends, he has teachers who accommodate him and find ways to access what he knows. I have seen a team of teachers, paraprofessional, therapists, office staff, and administration go out of their way to help us get it right for Mac and for other students. I have seen friends surround and understand him and fill in the gaps for him. They know he struggles to stand, they stand behind him and support him to be included with everything. They know they do not have to have him answer to be part of the conversation. They talk to him and often ask Furry for the answer. The children truly care for him and his team taught class is appropriately called the "The Second Grade Dream Team".
|Mackie and friends|
This is the same child who they only saw the disability, not the ability not too long in the past. They saw the little boy in a wheelchair off to the side, flapping and flailing, non-verbal silently just existing. The team saw him in our home, they saw who he could be and together we figured out how to help him shine and grow at school. Thank you all for believing in Mac.
|The Second Grade Dream Team|
|All it takes is a little help and accommodation|
Today I write that Second grade will never be forgotten. This is the year that I finally saw a school get it right. Yes we had bumps in the road, but those little bumps are normal and if we did not have those bumps, we wouldn't have been doing our jobs and stretching the schooling and experiences for Mac. For the first time ever, I am sad for the end of the school year to come. But also celebrating that we got it right.
|Friends and true inclusion|
We would have never imagined Mac being able to go to school for a full day. He has made the whole day the last Friday and today he will walk/roll out of the building with his friends after a whole day of end of the year celebration. He will be there to say goodbye until next time to his friends and celebrate the last day of school. He could have never done it without having the supports he needed to shine and thrive. People believing in him and friends.
Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible. And for going the extra mile to help Mackie make sure that his friends could make it to his Mackie's Movie Nights at our local movie theater.
This is a year of dreams come true, friendships, empowerment and memories that will last a lifetime.
And to you Mac you did it ! You taught us all more than we could ever teach you!
You Rock and we are so very, very proud of you.