We’re so excited for Sam to start Kindergarten next week… and nervous.
Sam is a younger brother, so it’s not that Elementary School is a new and unexplored territory for us. We’re nervous because we’re not sure how this whole classroom of strangers is going to treat him and his limb difference. We want to be the optimist that says, “Everything will be fine, everyone will just accept him as he is and they’ll all play together in harmony!” but that’s not very likely. The opposite view is just as unlikely. The reality will end up somewhere between. We wonder aloud, “Have we prepared him enough? Have we given him the tools to meet any situation he will face at a new school?” The answer is, of course, “no” but we feel like we’ve given him a framework of skills to help him approach the situations he may face.
We’ve built him this framework of skills by starting this website and exploring talking about his difference publicly. When we go out new places to play (parks, pools, etc) we help those who are curious ask Sam their questions that he answers. We’ve also taken him to summer camps like Camp No Limits and NubAbility Athletics Camp where he’s met a wide-range of limb different kids and adults. These mentors and peers that he has a special bond with are people he can reconnect with anytime thanks to social media and telephones. We feel oddly confident with this next stage beginning for him. And just one look at Sam tells you where he is on the confidence scale.
One of the other things we have done to prepare is writing a letter that we are sharing with the other Kindergarten families. I’ve attached it to this post so you can read it over. We got the idea from our friends at Born Just Right. Jen had written a post titled “Talking to Kindergarten Parents”, we loved it so much we used her generic letter to craft a letter of our own.
See the document full screen here: https://goo.gl/m9iXtn