Week 1 is finally over for Spencer at his new school. I really felt for the kid – it’s so hard to start a new school let alone two in a matter of a few weeks. I’m not sure who was more nervous, me or him. But I felt so good about this school even though it’s over an hour away from us. When we went there for Spencer to spend half a day two weeks ago I was so happy to see him interacting with the other kids, it was like seven Spencer’s running around. What a relief to finally find a school where kids were actually like him and he was not the outcast!
It was an exhausting week because the town was unable to set up transportation which meant the majority of my day was spent driving back and forth. It was also stressful as I sat on the edge of my seat all week waiting for the school to call and say that something had gone wrong or there was a problem with Spencer. Yes, he had a few incidents in the beginning of the week but I did a happy dance last night when the teachers told me that he was really settling in and doing great! He also has a full time aide who seems terrific.
I finally feel as if life is getting back to somewhat of a normal situation now that he’s in the right school with all of the support and services he needs. And…..transportation starts on Monday – yeah!!!
It’s been a long, painful and frustrating road finding the right school for Spencer and getting an accurate diagnosis for him. For parents of regular-ed students, the process of getting appropriate services in place for each child is usually something they take for granted. After all, with my daughter Kelsey, I put her on the bus, help her with her homework, speak with the teacher and attend parent/teacher meetings, but I assume that she is receiving the resources and tools she needs to learn. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that the education of my son would become my full time job! It has made me aware of how critical it is to have talented professionals who are provided the services and tools they need to teach our children and give them the education they deserve!
In my quest to educate my son, I have been fortunate to meet some incredible education advocates. And, in my role as The Safety Mom – www.safetymom.com, it has provided me the opportunity to meet some leaders in the field of education. I’ve learned from them that all of our children’s education is in jeopardy. Funding for teachers and important programs are in danger of being cut. As it is, our classrooms are so crowded that the possibility of any sort of individual attention is gone. And even programs such as music and art – things that open their eyes to what they could become – could be gone. Every one of our children deserves the best opportunities to learn. Next week, the #EducationJobsFund will be coming up for a vote. Please, please, please, take a moment to click on this LINK and send an e-mail to your Representative encouraging him/her to pass this bill. There are pre-printed statements so it literally will take a second. But it’s a few seconds that really could make a difference in the quality of your child’s education.
Alison Rhodes is the founder of Safety Mom Enterprises and Safety Mom Solutions, the premier baby proofing and child safety company in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut area. Alison is a family safety expert, TV personality and consultant.