CHANGE: New Year, New School, New Teachers

(Guest post by Monica McDivitt – Monica blogs at Like a Butterfly)

Have you ever felt this way??

This summer I tried desperately to figure out the best way to introduce Samantha to her new teachers and new school without focusing solely on her disabilities. Samantha is hearing impaired, cognitively delayed, motor delayed and does not have verbal communication skills. Transitions from one environment to another are usually most challenging because, in actuality, one cannot simply sit down and tell Samantha what is going to happen next because she does not understand this level of communication. Samantha is often confused and afraid during transitions and this often leads to resistance and discontent. Consequently, I am often left with a sick feeling – like I have abandoned or mislead her in some way. I also feel as if Samantha is left wondering “What happened?” As her mother, the one thing I can do to make it better for Samantha (and myself) is to help her teachers, paraprofessionals, therapists and other service providers to know and understand who she truly is, what her strengths are and what she enjoys the most. To do this, I needed to figure out a way to provide a substantial amount of information in a comprehensive but concise manner. If you have ever felt this way, then there is something you can do to help ease your mind and heart- make a portfolio about your child.

When I handed a big binder full of information about Sam to her new teacher on Sam’s first day of 6th grade, I was told it was a “teacher’s dream.” When Sam got out of school that day, a substitute teacher greeted me and told me how smart I was and congratulated me on doing such a nice job. I smiled and really appreciated the compliment but I love and care about my Sam and this is why I did it, not because I am “smart” or wish to be “supermom.” Sam is my world and I want people to know her and understand her like John and I do.

Yes, it took some time and effort but she is worth it and your child is too! Hope this helps someone. 🙂

Things I included:

Our Vision for Samantha.
Samantha Facts
Samantha’s Family
What Makes Samantha Unique?
History of Sam

I am Sam. Sam I am.
If You Knew Sam Like I Know Sam…

Early Childhood Intervention, PPCD, Elementary
Evaluation, School Photos & Artwork

Genetics Report
How 18q- Affects Samantha
18q- Syndrome

Sam’s Hearing Aids
Language Skills
Lunch Time with Sam.
More about Sam’s Needs
Contact Information

Magazine Articles including Sam
Different Iz Good Articles about Sam
People First Language

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