Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Month of Gratitude: Day 9

Day 8: Gus's Classmates
Gus and his best friend at school :: Meera

I am the classroom coordinator for Gus's class at Lake Windward. I don't really have to do much, as there are only six kids in the morning class and four in the late morning class. Parents don't come into the school to volunteer at this age, so there hasn't been a need for much from me. I do coordinate the Scholastic Reading Club each month, but that's about it.

I decided that it might be fun to get the kids together outside of school for them to socialize. I'd been trying to get something organized for a few weeks, and we finally were able to set something up for Saturday.

I invited the kids from both the early class and the late class and I was excited to see that there were five/six that came from the early (Gus's class) and one/four from the late. It was really awesome!

We arrived just after Cameron and James had arrived (they're twins). They are in Gus's session and he loves to play trains with them. Meera arrived next (also in his session), then Alejandro (he's in the late session), Eli (in Gus's session) all arrived.

There was something so wonderful about seeing Gus with his friends. They were all so excited to see each other, none of them were shy or awkward to be playing outside of school, and they were independent and not caring about what their parents were doing. It was magical.

I haven't seen Gus so happy to be with his friends, in well, ever. Steve and I both commented on how special it was to be witnessing him thriving with his peers. They're all in the special needs preschool together and Gus, Cameron, James, and Meera are all there for speech and sensory/OT support. Eli has Down Syndrome and just started a few weeks ago and will be going three days a week (the other kids all go M-F). Alejandro is in the late session and is learning to walk and receiving support for speech as well.

The kids all have some disability, but they love each other and just see each other as friends. It was really amazing to see them playing, laughing, chasing, and just loving the time together. No one fought, no one cried, and no one threw a tantrum. AMAZING!!!

 Each parent brought something for the kids to have as a snack. There was a LOT of food and drinks and the kids all had fun eating together

  Cameron, James, Meera and her older sister Maya

 Eli and Gus

 Alejandro and his mama

Almost everyone (Steve and Hugh weren't in this one, and neither were Eli's dad and Alejandro's dad and grandpa)

After they had their snack, they were off to play some more. It was a brisk morning, so everyone was chilly, but the kids were running around and were comfortable. 

I loved the opportunity to talk to the other moms and to hear about their experiences with special needs preschool (they were all in Amanda's class last year because their kids were three-- they all just turned four recently but will be in the class because they weren't four by September 1st). I learned that as neurotic as I am, I think I have the least to worry about and I thought I was nagging Ms. Amanda with my once every two or three week emails. These moms email multiple times a DAY.

Steve had a chance to talk to some of the dads that were there and he loved watching Gus as well. It was a really awesome morning and we can't wait to do something again soon.

While we were there, we created a FB group and became FB friends. It'll be easy to chat on there and to share pictures. I'm hoping to plan something for next month and hope that it'll be as much fun as this first gathering was.

 When it was time to leave, Gus and Meera gave each other a hug and said they'd see each other at school on Monday.

 Bye James!!

Meera thought Hugh was pretty cute  ;-)

I'm so thankful that Gus is spending his days with children like him. I'm thankful that he's having a great preschool experience and that he's got friends that like him and want to be around him. I love seeing him happy and I'm thankful that I had the opportunity to see what his friends are like.


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