It was a dark and depressing time for me. Some days the only ray of sunshine in my life was my little Princess. The Dog Walker turned three in November. In January, I finally spoke with a neighbor about her six-year-old son. I knew that he had been in the district preschool for developmentally delayed children. She gave me the number for the district office and I made the call. They found an opening for us on Valentine’s Day.
We checked in for our appointment and they called us back to a small play area. I lugged the baby under one arm and tugged at my son with the other hand. He didn’t like strange situations. The therapist joined us several minutes later. She tried to get him to play ball. He loves to play ball and since she seemed rather harmless, he tossed the ball to her. They played for about 10 minutes before the therapist asked him some questions. He just ignored her. Five minutes later he was labeled severely developmentally delayed. He had qualified for the district preschool program and he could start school on Monday. Our lives were about to change!
We arrived at the preschool shortly before nine. Our boy had never been alone anywhere except the neighbor’s house. He didn’t like other children or strangers, he couldn’t follow simple instructions, and he liked to take off his clothes. Of course, we were worried. We finally found his classroom and nervously stepped through the open door. His teacher and another woman greeted us. She was the speech therapist, and they would team-teach his class. They were nice and I slowly began to relax. Our son was thrilled to play with their huge collection of toys and as he climbed into the upper part of the large castle playhouse, we made a quick exit.
I spent a miserable morning waiting for my son to come home. At 11:47, a full-size, yellow district bus pulled up in front of my house. I ran across the lawn. I was certain that he would be dying to get off that bus and get back to his normal world. He wasn’t. He was the last child to be dropped off, and he was sound asleep. Tuesday morning was rough. He was tired, and getting him out of bed had never been easy. He cried in the shower, fought when I dressed him, and refused to eat his breakfast. I had to drag him onto the bus and buckle his seat belt. I was a nervous wreck until his bus arrived at 11:51, but he was sleeping again.
In May, I met with his teachers. I had seen many positive changes in his behavior and in his speech. I bluntly asked them when he would be completely normal, and they were hopeful that he could be mainstreamed at Kindergarten. We had no idea then that he would never be completely normal.
Jump to part 4.