In post #3 I addressed the question I have received many times which is; How will Down syndrome affect Reid? I had mentioned I would dedicate several posts during October's Down syndrome awareness month as to how it may affect him at different stages in his life the best I could, because of course Reid will be the real author of each chapter. As we are currently in the toddler years his days consist of therapy 3 days a week...but also doing fun stuff with our parks and recreation program, play dates, play dough, coloring (well kinda), swimming in the
backyard, wrestling with his brother....just "normal toddler guy" stuff! We will receive services through the regional center for his therapy needs until Reid is 3 years old, at which time he will be turned over for lack of better words, to our local school district and receive any therapy he may still need through them. The school Luke attends actually has a special day preschool where Reid could go 5 days a week starting at 3 years of age. MWF he and any friends with special needs would attend class with typical children from the neighborhood and on T/TH only he and his special needs friends attend for more individual attention. I like the theory of this program.
However, when I think of preschool options for Reid...I think back to night #2 after his birth. Obviously I was still in the hospital and the nursing staff was kind enough to transfer me to a private room so I could process everything on my own. They actually did not have any private rooms for me so they gave me one of their shared rooms but promised not to put any other mom in there with me. Toby didn't want to leave so he...and Luke... actually slept in that other bed which technically they were not allowed to do. After visiting hours were over they would pop on the other bed and swing the curtain around them so the staff was none the wiser. When a nurse would leave, Luke would pop his head out from around the curtain and ask, "Is she gone mom?". Anyway...I kind of reminisced there, but wanted to paint the picture. So, all of us were in the room, Toby and Luke snuggled in the other bed hidden away when all of a sudden I woke up at about 2:00 am with this ache in my heart and thoughts swimming in my head and I began to sob, and sob...I was so upset because all I could think about was that Reid would not go to the preschool that Luke was currently going to, that we loved so much. I couldn't get the images out of my head of Luke hyperventilating every time we pulled into the parking lot of the school because he was so excited to be there and flinging his seat belt off only to shout out to his friends who were also just arriving. I was still so new in this journey with Down syndrome that I believed Reid wouldn't have those same experiences. Luke had a crush on a little girl in class at the time and I cried because I wondered if Reid would have a crush. I cried, and I cried, and I cried...so much and so loudly apparently that a nurse came in the room and turned on the light..and we were "found out" so to speak because of course Toby woke up too... thank goodness they didn't slap a bill on us for that (it's about the only thing they didn't bill us for!!). Toby and I stayed up for a few hours talking, the truth is we really didn't know what to expect for our child because we really didn't know anything about Down syndrome.
Fast forward nearly 22 months and you have the pictures in this post...little Reid (standing ALL by himself) checking out duck eggs at the the nature center and looking at cockroaches in that log thingy...and playing drummer boy on plastic tubs in class... he gets so excited being there...a similar excitement I cried about, worried he wouldn't experience. He may not have a crush on
anyone in particular but that is because he spreads the love, smiles, and kisses to everyone. And as for preschool........................ I am so excited to say he is on the waiting list for the typical preschool that Luke went to. Will he go there? Perhaps. I think it would be good for him and his therapists agree that he would thrive in that environment. But, I also have my eye on
another typical preschool that is so developmental and hands on that I may try that first with him....who knows, the options are a plenty...too bad I didn't know that on night #2 after Reid's birth... I could have used the extra sleep!! :)