A Modern Day Fairy Tale: On Transitioning To Mainstream

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

On Transitioning To Mainstream



As the school year quickly comes to an end, it's the time that those of us with children in special education start with meetings deciding placement for the next school year. As many of you may know, for Shaun school has been and up and down battle. Though he has always excelled academically- socially and behaviorally school had been a struggle in the past. So for the past 4 years, Shaun has been in a separate special education only classroom.

But now I am thrilled to announce that Shaun has come so far this year that next year- entering the first grade- he will be transitioning into a mainstream classroom!! First and foremost, I could not be more proud of the progress he has made. Last year was such a struggle for him that there was talk of sending him to a life skills only class if his behaviors could not be improved on...so to reach this point is a complete turnaround. He has made such great strides, and I could not be more proud of all of his great work this year.

But I would be lying if I didn't admit that I'm also quite nervous as well. Academically, I know that Shaun can handle a mainstream classroom. Our fear in keeping him in the special education classroom had always been that he would not be challenged as he should be. He's got that part, no worries. But while he will have support throughout the day in his new placement, it will be a lot less than what he has gotten used to so I do worry about that change. I worry about finding a general education teacher who has the experience with kids like him and one who is willing to give him the attention he needs to succeed. I worry about bullying from the other kids because even at a young age it seems kids can be so cruel to those who are different. I worry about the likely transition to a new school. It's all a little scary for this mama.

Still, I trust his teacher's opinion that this is the best choice for him, and know that she wants only the best for him as we do. I trust that it will work out, and that after the initial adjustment he will thrive among his typical peers. I cannot wait to see where this next year takes him and pray that it will be the beginning of great things for him.

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