Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Chapter 23: School: A New Hope

Kayda was to be in casts for 6 weeks. It was decided that as long as an appropriate aide could be found, there was no reason she couldn’t attend school while still in casts. I’d had a few conversations with the principal. He sent over a couple of potential aides to meet us. People were always shocked to find her in her bed in the living room. I always had to explain that it was just because she was in casts. She really did have her own room.

We liked the 2nd person that came to meet us immediately. It turned out that her son had been in Kayda’s class the year before. This person too had concerns about the previous school. “Kim” was hired and we set out to make preparations for Kayda to start school. I would attend with her until everyone was comfortable with her care.

It had been decided that it would be ok for Kayda to be registered in grade 1 at the new school. Our first day at school gave me my first hint at the fact that things would be very different there than they had been at the previous school. The teacher was showing us around the classroom. Adjacent to the classroom was a little glassed in annex. I said “oh this will be good when Kayda gets noisy” The teacher replied that yes, and there was plenty of room for friends to join her in the room.

One day during that Fall I had to stay at the school because there was a new aide or something like that. I sat in the front entryway most of the day. All morning I could hear Kayda being very vocal. At her previous school she’d been sent home many days just because of that. So, at lunchtime I went to the teacher and asked her if she wanted me to take Kayda home. She looked at me and said “Barb, this is a grade 1 classroom. Grade 1 classrooms are noisy. If she gets too loud, we’ll just get louder”. During all that year, Kayda never once had to be taken out of the room due to noise. The teacher just arranged to have the activities that required quiet and concentration occur while Kayda was out of the room for personal care time.

Even in casts, Kayda was totally accepted by her new classmates. Before she started school I wrote a little book with lots of pictures in it about her and her differences and similarities. That’s what impressed the other children about her; She had a book written about her. Not that she was in casts or couldn’t talk or whatever. Kayda was a fully accepted member of the school.

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