Here is the update that I promised you, on how Gavin is doing at school. So far, school can be summed up in 2 words: Great and Bad! I feel like, for the most part, it's going great and Gavin, for the most part, feels that it is bad.
Here are the reasons that it's bad:
Gavin does not really like to be at school. The first day he did fairly well, but the second day he cried more than half the time. (Just so you know, on registration day his teacher told me that Gavin would cry the first few weeks of school. I laughed and said; "Gavin won't cry! He rarely cries, unless you give him a bath, brush his teeth, put anything in his mouth, or take him to the doctor. He won't cry, he's an easy-going boy who is happy most of the time.") Anyway, obviously the teacher knows my son better than I do, because he has cried more in the last week and a half, than he has all year long! I feel so sad for my little man! I hate to see him sad or in distress!
He doesn't like the new noises that he hears in his classroom. He startles and cries with every loud noise. He doesn't like the fact that they are working him and making him try new things. (Obviously, I have babied him a little too much! But, just so you know, I will continue to baby him, because he is my baby and I am his Mom. That's what Mommas do! They are supposed to comfort their children and give them love! A friend of mine who has a child with special needs once told me that her job is to love her son and the teacher's and therapist's job is to teach him and make him do things that he needs to learn. I didn't really understand this statement until now.) Anyway, Gavin is not really impressed with this new routine.
Here is Gavin crying while doing one of his tasks: (I don't blame him, I'd be mad too!)
Now, Here are the reasons that it's great:
Gavin's teacher, assistant teacher and therapists are AWESOME!!! They are so loving towards him, but they are also on the ball! They have him doing so many things that can't help but do him some good in the end! I am so excited and hopeful about this year! I haven't held out much hope for Gavin's future, since I was pretty much told not to by his neurologist, after Gavin's stroke. I am still cautious with my hope, but I can tell that school will do some good for him!
I started out staying with Gavin the whole time that he was at school, which is 2 1/2 hours. I wasn't about to leave him alone with people that I don't even know and I wanted to be there in case he was sad. I found that he actually calms down better for the teachers than he does for me. I guess he knows that he can really lay it on thick for his Momma and I will say; "Poor baby, you don't have to do that!" But, with his teachers, he cries a little, then they pick him up and comfort him, and he stops crying and they go back to work. It got to the point that I couldn't stand to be there watching him cry anymore! So, little by little, I would leave the room and when I came back they would say that he had done quite well. I didn't believe them at first, but now I do. His teacher says that she is almost too honest and she would tell me the truth! She also said, that he really does better when I am not there! I suppose it's because he knows that I'm his comforter and if I'm there he can get some sympathy. So, now that I trust the staff and know that he is being cared for well and that he actually does better if I'm not there, I have been leaving him there for about 2 hours alone.
This gives me about 2 hours to be alone, which rarely happens, and it gives me time to run errands or do things that I want to do. The bad part is that the school is about 20 minutes from home, so I don't get to go home during this time to get things done around the house, because I would spend most of that 2 hours driving there and back, so this is a dilema, but I'm figuring out things to do that are close to his school.
And, just so you know, Gavin isn't always sad at school, even when I'm there. His teacher said that he is tolerating it faster than she thought that he would. She said that he is crying less and less each day and is getting more comfortable in these surroundings.
Here is a picture to prove it:
He loves when they give him his alone time at school, to just chill out! He especially likes laying in this bean bag chair! His teacher says that he just lays there 'talking' and smiling, or he takes a snooze.
I was feeling badly for making him endure this change, but now I realize that it's a great thing for him and that Moms have to give tough love to all of their children! I give tough love to my other boys, knowing that they will benefit from this love, and I have a feeling that showing Gavin some tough love will benefit him as well!
"Love one another as I have loved you." John 15:12b
Also, please check out Gavin's fundraising page. We will be walking in this year's Buddy Walk, on October 10 at Millenium Park, starting at 10 A.M. We would love to have you sign up to walk with us or donate to this cause, if you are able. I've added a fundraising widget to the top lefthand corner of this blog that you can go to, if you wish to donate.
We love attending these walks! It is so heartwarming to see all of these children who have Down syndrome! The organization does so much good for this community of people and we have benefited greatly by their cause! They are a wealth of knowledge for parents of children with Down syndrome and they help to show that we aren't alone walking this road!
We hope to see you there, walking with Gavin's Gang!