Today is a big day.
A bittersweet day.
RM is about to get on the bus with ‘Miss Joanne’ for the last time. It will be the last time she goes to her preschool here in town — the last chance to hang out with her ‘typical peers’ there.
“Buh-bye, Risdofer!” — “Ris” *clap* “dooo” *clap* “ER!” *clap* (Christopher)
Oh yeah, it’s ‘bye-bye’ to the incessant stimmy clapping of every syllable out of her mouth — thanks, Preschool Staff — way to go giving her THAT lovely perseverating gem.
This End is really a bright, new Beginning.
RM starts her new school on Monday — a school built just for her and her peers who need the kind of education that is tailored to their needs. There will be ABA therapy, potty-training, and more speech therapy than you can imagine. THEY WILL USE SIGN LANGUAGE WITH RM — BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT SHE USES — not whatever form of communication that is the cheapest and easiest for the district yet is lost on her.
She will be in a school with a teacher-student ratio of 3:2. That’s right folks — there are MORE teachers than students at this school.
How much does it cost you ask?
Well, it costs about $150,000 per year. Yes — that is astronomical. However, if the money wasn’t spent today, it would cost upwards of $3 million to care for her as she grows up without the help she needs now. So that seems pretty reasonable to me.
1 in 110 kids in the US — 1 in 88 military kids in the US. The ‘tsunami’ of children growing up with autism is coming and it will wipe us out in the long run if we do not intervene NOW.
Ok — back to the bitersweet ‘goodbyes’ today. I am grateful to RM’s teachers and how they have cared for her in the last two years. I am sad that we couldn’t be closer because of the bully Sped Director. I think RM’s teacher runs a tremendous preschool class — it just wasn’t working for RM.
So I will be picking up RM from her last day at preschool this morning, armed with handmade cards and presents for all who took such great care of her — I know they love my baby girl. Who wouldn’t?