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.
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Such a sad day. It makes it hard when your child doesn’t understand that these people won’t be in their life anymore. Leaving aspect felt like such a leap of faith for us. The first year out I felt I had done the wrong thing but now we are settled and grateful for the solid foundations that our time at aspect gave us. Best wishes for today and for next year too 😀
Oh Liz, it’s going to be a hard day. Already teared up when he went on the bus for the last time – thankfully I will be busy today before I go and pick him up and inevitably drop my bundle then…
So glad that you feel more settled now, I know that first year out was especially hard for you. Wishing you all the best for next year too, with your big boy off to kindergarten – hope it all goes well for you all!
Oh my, such a big step! You’ll be okay, just wait and see. 🙂
Thanks so much for your positive thoughts. I think he will be okay we just have to get through these holidays first…already want to send him back, he’s been pushing those boundaries, little scamp!
Wishing you all the very best with it, Kirsty. For now and next year. I really hope it’s a smooth transition. xx
Thanks Kel. He realises that he will not be going back and asked to buy a diary so he can write in it about his adventures there! I’m really hoping he gets to have even better adventures at his new school next year!
I can only imagine how hard this will be. I’m a person who hates goodbyes, but especially since they have been such a tremendous help for you would no doubt make it harder.
I hope things go smoothly, and better than you would have imagined.
Thanks Jess. I did have a cry but everyone was the same! Most of the other parents are on facebook and we have befriended one another so hopeful we can still organise get-togethers for the kids, it would be a real loss to let their fledgling friendships wither away…
Goodbye is always hard. Especially when you have formed strong bonds and shared personal things and moments.
Goodbyes are hard on anyone. It was such a big week I ended up falling ill, which shows how much stress I was under.
But it was good to have the chance to say goodbye and thank them for everything in person – we will never forget everything they have done to allow my son to be ready for mainstream school, something that we always hoped for but never really thought would happen. It’s really beyond words!
Wishing you all the best of luck with the transition. Exciting and nerve-wracking all at once. I hope the goodbye wasn’t too painful for your son. Will you be able to visit the staff again at some point?
Jayne, some of the staff are remaining there and have invited all the transitioning kids to come back at some point to let them know how they are doing so hopefully we will keep in touch.
My son did understand it was goodbye and was quite upset on Friday night – we promised to get him a diary so he could write down his adventures there and remember all the games they played – I’m hoping that will ease his anxiety at the separation.
Transitions are hard, especially when going from a specialist setting to mainstream. Boo did it going from kinder to school and although I nearly lost my mind with worry it turned out to be awesome for him.
Sending smiles your way
Thanks so much Kelley – i know you have your own issues at the moment with transitioning Boo to high school but it’s reassuring to hear that others have made a successful transition to mainstream.
Just have to get through the holidays first, that boy child of mine is pushing the boundaries so hard at the moment (understandable with the stress he’s under) but far out, if I wasn’t on 5 different medications I’d be into the wine by lunchtime the way he’s going!!!
Whilst I remember this happening, I must have known about it via FB or twitter. it was a really HUGE event. I think most of all though I recall the first weeks of mainstream school and how you managed that too. Wow. So many memories and beginnings and in about 4 months, you’ll be writing about HS for him! Time is a flying! Thanks so much for linking this special post up for the first week of the new linkup called Life This Week. Denyse x
Wow, I didn’t realise your son started off in a special school – goodness you’ve come a long way!
It is amazing the dedication and hard work from you as a family, Aspect and of course Gilbert has led to this. I hope all that effort is rewarded and his transition goes well xx
Ahhh endings are hard and this sounds like an especially difficult one. I hope the transition goes well and you remember these days as happy ones x
The transition did end up going really well and we are actually now embarking on the next transition, this time to high school. Being able to look back on this experience has reassured me that we will survive this next transition process too.