Life is full of endings & beginnings.
Today marks both an ending and a beginning for my son and my family. Today is his last day in a special education setting – as of next year he will begin Year 2 at his local public school.
I know I will be in tears when I pick him up for the last time this afternoon. The teachers and aides at ASPECT have taught him, looked after him, guided him and supported him for the last 3 years and it’s going to be hard to say our goodbyes to them.
How can I put into words the gratitude and thankfulness that we feel? That we will never forget their care for our son?
We are all feeling a mixture of emotions right now. We are proud, oh so proud of him and the progress he has made to be ready for this transition. He has come so far in the last 3 years and is clearly ready to be challenged in a mainstream setting.
But, at the same time, we feel trepidation, not knowing if the transition will ultimately succeed and wondering whether we have made the right decision to take him out of a setting he is so comfortable in.
In my heart, I am growing more confident in our decision to move him into a mainstream setting. But, until I see how he goes in those first few weeks, my head will continue to question the challenge we are presenting him.
For his part, Gilbert has taken the transition visits in his stride. He has done really well so far, although I do worry that the school will not be able to cope when he inevitably has his first full meltdown in the classroom.
Luckily, I will be at home on leave for the first 4 weeks of term so I’ll be around if they need me. It’s certainly going to be an interesting journey for us all in those first few weeks…
But for now, I want to help my son say goodbye to his friends, accept this change (he still really doesn’t completely understand that this is it) and enjoy his holidays.
And I want to take this chance to publicly thank ASPECT for everything – my gratitude is beyond words and I will never forget all you have done for us.