Grant and I had a brief, friendly meeting yesterday with Henry’s Kindergarten teacher. I wanted to touch base with her face-to-face and chat about how Henry is transitioning from a part-day SSD preschool class to a full day mainstream Kindergarten class.
She begins by asking us if we have any specific questions or concerns. My deepest most pressing concerns at this point are things that I can’t seem to say out loud to her.
Do you really see my son? Deep down inside? Will you see how intelligent he really is?
Will you truly take the time to learn about him and guide him to be the best Henry he can be?
Will you understand his differences and accept him for who he is?
Will you understand that as his parents we want him to become a productive, independent citizen in his Kindergarten class and beyond?
Do you understand that we worry about his differences setting him apart (negatively) from his peers?
Do you know how much we want his first school experience to go well and hopefully set the tone for the rest of his school years ahead?
When I am unable to verbalize what exactly we are looking for from her and this meeting she takes the lead.
She tells us that Henry is doing as well as his peers. She feels she “gets” Henry. She can see where he is coming from and that their personalities seem to be meshing quite well. BINGO! Tears begin to well up in my eyes.
She talks of the positive things about Henry, things she likes about him. She tells us a little bit about his day and a few things she has been able to see from him in his short 10 days he has been in her class. She shares with us how she interacts with him specifically and how she runs her classroom. She continues on to say that she is not seeing any “weird” behaviors that make Henry stand out from any of his typical classmates at this point. She shares how he is interacting (or sometimes not) with his new classmates. He is transitioning well. She not aware of any issues with his other teachers (P.E., music, art). She assures us that if there are ever concerns that arise, she will not hesitate to let us know.
My son is adjusting and navigating “the typical”! His teacher sees him. She is taking the time to learn about him, letting him be the individual that he is yet guiding him in “the typical”. I am able to swallow that lump that has been sitting in my throat. I am able to breathe a bit easier.
Score: Typical 1, Autism 0, Kindergarten Teacher 100!