Mikey has officially completed his first year of preschool and I can’t believe it’s already over. It feels like since Tucker was born things have not slowed for our family at all.
Not only has Mikey completed his first year of preschool but he also has been in speech therapy for a little over 18 months now and I can not even begin to tell you the amount of progress he has made since starting school last fall.
I’ve watched my sweet, shy little boy bloom into a confident, big boy who is not afraid speak up for himself.
Before starting school it used to break my heart watching Mikey try to play with other kids on the playground and get so disheartened every time they would ignore him because they didn’t understand what he was saying. He so badly wanted to be understood that he would often act out exactly what he was trying to say so people could understand him.
After getting him an IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) last summer he was enrolled in Headstart last fall as well as received additional speech and occupational therapy through the city at our home. As scared as I was to send him to school full time, away from me, his own personal translator, it was the best thing we could have ever done for him.
We had a few bumps in the road at the beginning, like the school refusing to call him anything but his legal name, Kevin, when we had just worked for months in speech therapy on helping him say Mikey so people could understand him. But with every obstacle that came Mikey completely conquered it. He wasn’t phased at all about being called Kevin at school and was excited to share the same name as his Daddy.
It made me so happy to see how excited he was to go to school every morning and tell me all about his day when I picked him up. Mikey’s school had a summer program so he was able to stay in school until the end of July, which was really nice to keep the same schedule. The summer program included a lot more fun outdoors, a water play day and a day of swimming in the pool since his school was part of our YMCA.
His teachers were absolutely amazing this year and always made a point to listen to him and take the time to understand what he was trying to say. His speech has improved significantly over the past year as well as his confidence to speak to other kids and people he doesn’t know.
Every month they had a Family Fun Day where parents, siblings and family members were invited to the school for a day of festivities. Some weeks they had bounce houses, one week they set the gym up like a little movie theater, and sometimes they’d have someone there playing music for the kids. Mikey looked forward to every one of the Family Fun Days, especially since that meant Tucker got to play at his school with him.
Although Mikey technically has one more year of preschool left before Kindergarten, I’m so happy he had a preschool graduation with his class since he will be moving on to a different school this fall.
Now that he is 4 he will be attending a Pre-K program at an elementary school where he will be able to receive his speech therapy on site. I’m both excited and nervous to see how this year goes. I’m super exited that he will be receiving therapy in school so Tucker won’t be around to distract him but I’m also nervous about him being in a brand new class with all new students and teachers.
The orientation for Mikey’s new school was tonight. It was brief since it was mostly for the older kids but we got the chance to meet the three teachers that he will have and that definitely helped to ease my mind a bit about sending him to a different school.
I think he is going to absolutely love his new school.
He certainly was excited it has a cafeteria!