Antalya is officially done with preschool.
It always felt like I had so long before I needed to start worrying about IEP's, school transitions, inclusion issues, and so on.
I thought I would be so prepared when the day came.
But now it's here. And I'm not.
But regardless, time moves on, preschool has come to an end, and ready or not, Antalya is headed to Kindergarten in the fall.
Antalya has thrived in all the different preschool settings she has been.
And this year was no different.
We will miss her wonderful teachers and all the sweet kids in her class (especially one little boy that would occasionally say, "Antalya come sit by me" when I dropped her off. And everytime he did my eyes would swell up and I have to resist the urge to run over and hug him).
On the last day of school, Victoria and I joined her class for a picnic and party outside.
There are many opinions, and every child is different, but for Antalya, I feel a mainstream classroom is where she needs to be.
And I am completely unwilling to bend on that issue.
Here in Utah, that is not the general rule. And even though Antalya has always attended a mainstream classroom and has done really well, the concluding opinion at her transitional IEP meeting was to send her to a special ed kindergarten class.
I saw it coming, and in my panic decided the best course of action would be to apply to every charter school within 20 miles in hopes that I would find one with a small class size and a willingness to help every child in the class succeed.
Maybe it was luck, or chance, or an answer to prayers, but she got offered a spot at a Montessori school for next year. We'll have a 25 min drive each way, but the school has small classes and has already been down the road of helping a kindergarten child with Down syndrome succeed in a regular classroom.
We thought it over and over, and decided the only downside was the drive, and it was by far the best option we had available for next year. So come next fall, Antalya will start her elementary school experience in a mainstream classroom, where I know she needs to be.
And I am so grateful!