We have always known that our journey to getting Haven developmentally on target may be a challenging one. We have never tried to convince ourselves that the road will be an easy one. God HAS been amazing–she IS learning and growing daily. Still, many challenges lie before us.
This week Haven attended the homeschool classes that our other children go to. I have been easing her into it over the last few weeks, gradually increasing her time there, as was suggested by the school. Yesterday she stayed for the full 4 hours. She did okay. She is obviously very accustomed to being in a “institutional” environment. However, it is a LOT of stimulation for her, probably a bit of overload. She seemed overwhelmed by it all. She insists on holding the teachers hand if they leave the classroom and is very afraid of the playground–probably because of all the kids going crazy. One teacher found her crying in the bathroom, another found her in tears on the playground. It is all a little intimidating. Put in a nutshell—it is a LOT for this little girl to take in.
What do we do? Again today I was told that if I want more therapy for Haven there is NOTHING that the school can do until she is enrolled as a full-time student (going to school for 7 hours every day of the week). The school is meeting with Haven’s homeschool teacher and the therapists who have met her. They are going to try and come up with an intervention plan for her. Our ONLY option is to mainstream her, the school district that we live in does not have Special Ed classes. The only choice we have is to put her in a class of 20 kids. We just do not know if Haven can handle that at this stage. Is what they are offering us the right environment? We feel that the best thing for her would be a very small class, with a lot of one-on-one attention from a teacher. She needs supervision, she is unable to express ANY needs at all. We have to send her to school with a pull-up on, just in case she has an accident–she can’t tell anyone when she needs to go potty. She needs someone who will watch over her and take her potty at regular intervals, at least until she feels “safe” to go alone.
Oh goodness, Anthony and I are in a situation tonight—we just do not know what the best thing to do is. If she stays as a part-time student she will only get half an hour of speech therapy every two weeks, that is not enough! If we send her full time, will she cope? Will the teacher be able to meet her needs (along with 19 other kindergartners? There is only one teacher per class). Do we try to move into a better school district–one that is bigger and has more resources for Haven? We just don’t have the answers.
Please pray with us that God would show us the way in this. Obviously our hearts desire is to see Haven learning and growing as quickly as possible. But, at the same time, she needs to be nurtured and cared for. I know that there will be an outcome to all of this, and it will be GOOD. We just need to get to that point. Thank you for trusting with us.
Believing we will have ears to hear!