Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Thank You to Dominic's "New" Friends

Dominic has been having Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings yearly, since he entered the public school system at age three.  Back at the end of October,  my husband and I attended the first IEP meeting at his new middle school. When it came time for Dominic’s teacher, Miss Elena, to speak, I knew I wanted to ask her when the new peer-to-peer program was due to start.  For children with Autism (like Dominic), knowing the appropriate social communicative skills to use with their peers is challenging and difficult. As Miss Elena started to fill us in on how he was progressing, the hubby and I were pleased to find out that he seemed to be adapting well to his new school. Before I could ask the question about the peer-to-peer program, Miss Elena started telling us that about a week or so before Dominic’s IEP meeting, she had put a sign up sheet out by the main office in the morning with space for 20-25 students to sign their names. When she went around lunchtime to see if anyone had signed up, the sheet was gone. My heart sank. The first thing that popped into my head was that someone had ripped the sheet off the wall and threw it in the trash. Well, the sheet was gone because 125 students wanted to sign up to participate!! I am rarely speechless, but at that moment, you literally could have knocked me over with a feather. The first informational meeting was held with 30 of the 125 students recently that will participate in the peer-to-peer program, aptly titled, “Friends First.”  Miss Elena remarked to me, that one of the first questions the students asked after her presentation was, “how soon can we start?” I was speechless, again, which considering my big yap is rare! My heart is full of such gratitude to those 125 children!! I wish I could write a thank you note to each and every one of them (and their parents).  In about seven to eight years, those children will be adults. What an incredible insight they will have into the special needs “world” don’t you think???


1 comment:

  1. Sometimes kids will really surprise us. This was a good surprise, and the special needs kids as well as their new friends will all benefit. What a marvelous school Dominic is lucky to have. Love, Auntie

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