Today is my son’s first day of high school and my daughter’s first day of her last year of high school. And my husband started a new job. We were a household of “funny tummies” this morning …
We arrived at high school without knowing who the aides were, if indeed they had been hired. Even worse, my big 12 year-old was in his manual wheelchair which horrified him, as with immaculate timing his power chair has died. At the end of the welcome assembly parents were politely dismissed and I asked if the school had uh you know actually hired any aides.
And lo and behold they had hired the two aides I requested when I helped interview for the role – a confident young woman with 4 brothers who my hormone-ridden son will fall in love with by the end of the day, and a fit, sporty bloke in his 40s who will not complain about OH&S crap. My son beamed, stood up (with my help) offered his hand to them both and welcomed them to “his” school. And he’d only been there 45 minutes.
Two diverse aides were was just one item on my list of requested supports, many of which the Ed Dept has never done before. Let’s see how the school goes with managing the technological supports and “left field” inclusion options which were recommended at my request.
So thank you God and principal, and Paul and Michael in the Ed Dept for listening to my views on what support at school kids with disability really need, and making it happen. I came home and cried tears of gratitude.
I remember when my daughter started high school: shy, anxious, knowing few other kids. I just wanted her to feel happy, safe and welcomed. That’s all I want for my son. He just needs different supports from my daughter because he can’t walk like she can. They’re both special, and equal.