Transitioning to Gen-Ed Preschool

This week we had parent teacher conferences for our kids. I don't really know how I'm old enough to be going to these types of meetings, but here I am. Jay's meeting went really well. He's right where he needs to be for the school year, and is thriving in Kindergarten. Em on the other hand while doing well, is exceeding our wildest dreams and I couldn't be more happy for her and the progress that she's making. 

Derek and I have had a feeling the last few weeks that Em might be at the top of her preschool class. In just the last month she's rattled off her numbers one through ten, and has learned her colors very quickly. We started thinking that maybe it wasn't crazy to think that she might attend the general education kindergarten in a couple years when the time came. 

At her conference this week, we asked the teacher if she thought that the kindergarten goal that we were mentally setting was realistic or not, and she told me it was definitely within reach. I then asked her how she compared to the other kids in the class and she said that Em was very bright, and that she was definitely higher functioning than what we'd originally anticipated. 

I was under the impression that there was another preschool class in the school, and I asked the teacher about that, and she told me that there was a general education preschool that meets two days a week in the building. She then told me that she would like to see Em starting to transition to that class starting in January.

Currently Em goes to the special education preschool four days per week, Monday through Thursday. The gen-ed preschool meets M/W and T/TH. The plan is that Em will start off by attending the gen-ed preschool two days a week for 20 minutes, and then go back to her current classroom, and then attend her special education preschool like normal on the other two days. Through the rest of the school year, they will work her time up in the gen-ed class so that she's going there two days a week, and attending her class two days a week, and then carry out that same schedule for the following school year as well. 

I really don't know how we've made it this far with this little girl. I can assure you that none of this is a reflection of Derek and I's parenting skills. We're worn out, tired, and are in survival mode most days. We engage, love, and play with our kids, but certainly aren't doing enough to merit much credit for Em's success. She's writing her own story, Heavenly Father is opening doors, and miracles for her, and I'm grateful that we get to be here for the ride. 

There's more that I want to say, but I hate that it's not going to sound eloquent and well written (like anything here is well written...). But I want to remember this phase with Em. How we pick her up from school and she's so excited that she got to play on the playground. Or when I get her out of her wheelchair to put her in the car and she gives me the biggest hug ever. I love when you ask her a question and her little finger points enthusiastically with every answer. I love that she's becoming more brave. Crawling off of furniture without hurting herself, getting on all fours and taking the tiniest little baby crawls that are more like shuffles than actual crawls. She's learned to play with toys and has an actual desire to play and make messes and does it for hours on end. Something completely new and freeing for Derek and I. 

I often feel a crippling guilt about these miracles that we've been given. How come we're given so much and other people have to face such hard and devastating things? I remember being pregnant with Em and thinking I could really handle whatever her life turned out to be. Maybe I'm not as strong as I thought I was, and maybe Heavenly Father keeps proving himself to me now, so that I can look back and remember all the miracles that we had to ease the pain later. I don't know how all this ends. Right now though, we're in the season of miracles, and it's a season that I will relish my entire life.


  1. I hope you have so many wonderful memories with Em that she will remember when she is a teenager and adult to keep her strong and happy.

    And miracles are miracles. They don't need to ease pain.