So we're about one month into the school year for JI, and things are going swimmingly. The teachers just came for the first home visit (we get about 3-4 every school year), and they are quite pleased with how things are happening with JI.
Last year, school for JI meant that he was just past his 2nd birthday, one of the oldest in the class, and one of the "least disabled" in the class. His classmates had disabilities and delays ranging from Autism to SPD to physical disabilities, and they were all different races and religions. The one thing that they all had in common was that they were all boys, except for one girl! Of course she became JI's little girlfriend; they sat next to each other (in assigned seats) on the bus and held hands.
That girl is in JI's class this year too, where he is one of two non-disabled/delayed "peers". The ratio of boys to girls is a little closer, and he's one of the few 3 year olds in a class where there are some "young 5s" (which apparently is a thing now?). Poke takes JI to school every day (unless I have a morning appointment), and I pick him up from school. The teachers always give me a quick update on how things are going, what happened that day, etc.
Yesterday we talked about JI's personality, and how they feel, as I do, that he is very smart and quite advanced for his age. Luckily both teachers are happy about this (I've heard of teachers feeling like the special kid is a burden) and they are actually going to get some tools/resources specifically for JI to use so he can learn and grow. The "problem" with JI is that he is three, but he's functioning at a five year old level, or possibly higher, and he gets very bored with regular three year old preschool stuff. They noticed that even the questions he asks and the ways he plays are advanced for his age. I'm so proud!
So here is the wonderful stuff so far:
- JI has made a friend! This kid loves to involve JI in everything, from playing to going potty LOL JI helps him with his numbers and letters, and the kid keeps JI on track with bathroom breaks.
- JI is improving immensely with his behaviour, both at school and at home. The teachers use the "1...2...3..." style of warning, which I have been working on for like a year, and it is finally kicking in.
- JI is good with his warning, which means less time outs. He's never had one at school, and using the 123 has kept him from being in time out too much at home. The teachers use the phrase "calm your body", which JI has never needed, so I might be implementing that if we need it!
- They have an ipad in the classroom, which JI earns the right to use very often. He is already doing Kindergarten math, letter tracing, and word/letter games and acing them! I downloaded "Monkey Math" on the Google Play store for $1.99, which is one he uses at school, and he has already passed about six levels.
There's more, but I'll spare you the mushy details. He's just a better version of himself overall, and he's even gone back to being completely daytime potty trained! That's my favorite!
Overall, I'm very pleased. The only thing that needs worked on is his speech, which is not a surprise to me at all. Hopefully the speech evaluation next week will give us some kind of path on which to go with that! The best part of JI being in school is that he gets to learn new things and be in new situations, and I get a three hour break!