About a year ago, a friend asked me if Maxwell would be attending Lifeskills Kindergarten after preschool. It took me by complete surprise. I don't know why, but I had never even considered such a program for Maxwell. Soon after, I talked with his preschool teacher and she explained further. She was a fairly good proponent of this option but suggested I give it time and we would address it more this year.
This seriously has been over a year and I am still struggling with the term "Lifeskills" for a kindergarten student. I understand it simply is a term, but it feels like we are giving up on him at such an early age. I get the need for teaching lifeskills at an older age as we are preparing him for independent life (hopefully)...but at kindergarten?
If we truly want an inclusive society, should we be segregating children at age 5?
But on the other hand, perhaps that is what Maxwell needs. I completely get that he will not keep up with students in a typical kindergarten. But with the help of his signing aide and perhaps doing some different activities, I think it *could* be successful in many ways.
I don't know. Maybe I am completely wrong and just letting my own wishes for Maxwell get in the way of what is best for him. I keep going back and forth...back and forth. It has definitely been weighing on me tremendously.
After sharing my concern with Max's teacher, she offered to take us into the kindergarten class and have him participate (with her as his aide) to give me an idea of what it is like. (That is this morning...I am very curious to see how it goes.) Next on my "kindergarten prep to do list" is a visit to the Lifeskills kindergarten at the other school.
Last but not least, there is always the option of having him attend the deaf school. However, that is 45-60 minutes away. And yes that would help address his hearing loss and communication skills, but would he be able to keep up with his developmental delays?
Hmmm...think, think, think. (Max is watching Tigger & Pooh right now and that is what they always say when they have a problem!)
* If you have any experience or suggestions, please feel free to share. Thank you!