Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Back to School

With year 'round school in Utah, summers end pretty early. Last Friday the whole family got to go meet Whitney's new teacher, all the assistants and Whit's new interpreter. We spent some time in the classroom together and visited about Whitney's specific needs and goals. Whit got to meet various of her classmates who have Down Syndrome, Autism and various other things. Whit's class will have around 8 students in it this year. The elementary school itself has three special ed classes that span first through fourth grade so there are lots of kids to get to know.

On Monday, the bus pulled up shortly after 7 for the first 45 minute ride to school. And a little after 4 that afternoon, it came back with a very tired Whitney on board. She was very hot because there isn't any air conditioning on the school bus. But after a huge drink of water, Whitney excitedly talked about different things she'd played with that day. We have to guess about the details, but when asked if she wanted to go back to school tomorrow, Whit replied with an enthusiastic nod, "Yes." A note from Whitney's teacher indicated that she had participated in the classroom activities and was happy all day. So that's another good sign.

Seven to four is a pretty long day for a little kid and one of our biggest concerns is Whitney getting enough to eat. Melanie sends a lunch with her each day with many of her favorite foods inside. Lunch is mainstreamed with all the other kids, though and Whit seems to be losing focus on eating. She's come home with a mostly uneaten lunch and a huge appetite two days in a row now. This is something we'll have to work on.

Thankfully, Whitney's new hearing aids have been performing well and she's left them completely alone for each day so far. Whit's new interpreter is very nice and was more than happy to interactively help Whit more correctly form her signs as well interpret what is going on in class.

Whitney decided to take of her seat belt and stand up on the bus yesterday on her way home, so we're going to have to watch that closely as well. She's probably just curious about the other kids or maybe wants to see better.

But overall she's doing very well. We're pleased the school year is off to such a good start.

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