Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tuesdays With Michael...Preface

This is my first "Tuesdays with Michael" post and I hope to keep this up each week as kind of a diary of my "special" day with our wonderful, yet challenging, young son. I want to take this first "Tuesday" post to explain how it came to be...

We pulled him out of a five-day per week, more "institutional" type of daycare/preschool as we felt that he wasn't getting enough one/one attention and therefore, he started misbehaving and was put on a behavior plan - can you imagine a 4-year old on a behavior plan?.

We were both so upset about the whole situation and were trying to figure out what we could do to help him. Our school district had a Learning Behaviorist observe him back in the fall who recommended a smaller class environment, consistancy between us and the pre-school, etc. We met several times with his teacher and the director at the pre-school but it just wasn't getting any better. I spent hours on the phone talking with the Special Education District in our county but he would have had to have another "Class Action" observation done and that has to be dictated by the Principal of the school he would be attending in the fall for Kindergarten. I emailed the Principal (who we have also met) about the situation at pre-school...do you think he has emailed or called me back? NO! I'm so disappointed with the whole public school system and my son hasn't even started there for Kindergarten!

Being a parent is by far the hardest thing I have ever done in my life! We were both so upset over how unhappy Michael was, I wasn't concentrating at work, making silly mistakes, getting frustrated with work and homelife. As I was driving home from work one evening, I passed by this lovely old farmhouse on a hill with massive Oak Trees in the yard and a sign popped out at me...it is a small Homeschool Prep. I called the number and spoke with Bea, the owner/teacher, she was so comforting to talk to, she had been a teacher in public and catholic schools for over 30 years and has been home-schooling for 8 years or so. We all went one morning to meet her, hear about her program and have a look around. After about an hour, she asked if we'd like to leave Michael there to see how it goes. We were a little anxious, but Ron was working at home that day and this prep is only 3 minutes away. So we tried it, and Michael cried for about 3 minutes and that was it. He cried again that Friday for 2 minutes and that has been the end of it.

School is only on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays so I have asked my manager to test me staying at home on Tuesday and Ron will stay home on Thursdays. Michael has been there for about 3 weeks now and so far so good! We feel so blessed that we found Bea. We have also been going to a child therapist to learn how to deal with Michael's challenging behavior and slowly but surely that seems to be helping us all.

So there you have it, now on to the fun stuff. Last week I took Michael to the Kohl's Children Museum in Glenview - what an awesome place! We had so much fun, I am looking forward to taking him back when the weather gets better. There was a special guest-appearance by a certain BIG RED DOG...can you guess who it was?

1 comment:

Jewelgirl said...

Clifford was one of my daughters
favorite characters! She is a
tween now! PBS is so great for
educational TV!