Team Ethan was out in full force this week. We had his ARD, and I dressed for the occasion with a shirt made with love by my mother. While his annual review meetings can often be stressful, I felt at total peace headed into this one. And, I wanted to show my pride in my sweet boy by sporting my fabulous t-shirt.
In a word, his year has been fantastic. He continues to make improvements, and we are confident that he is finding his way in this world one day at a time.
We have set new goals for next year. They are more challenging than in past years, but that, in and of itself, shows his progress. He is ready to do more advanced school work, and when his goals were established, they even looked at the goals for the grade level in some of the areas. That means that, in science and social studies, he will be learning the same things at the same time as his general education peers. That is a huge step in the right direction.
I had mentioned a few weeks ago that we might have something exciting to report very soon. Well, we have received official confirmation. Ethan will be the first student at our school to receive an iPad for communication. In addition, he will eventually start doing as much of his work as is appropriate on it so that he can fully participate and communicate, not only his words, but also his knowledge. I started the process of requesting it over a year ago, but, at the time, our school was just now starting to give it a trial in the special education classroom. I continued to request one for Ethan, specifically, especially after we saw how much progress he made on it at home and in private therapy. We are beyond thrilled that our school is so progressive that they saw a child with a need and determined that it was a necessary tool for his academic success.
As the school year is coming to a close, I cannot help but be emotional, sentimental, happy, excited, sad, and, above all else, joyful. Ethan has had a great year, and it is great to hear things like, “Ethan is a class clown. He just has that personality. The students love him.” It is wonderful to receive emails that end with “just love him!”. And, it is amazing to see children lining up to give him a hug when we walk through the school doors after school on a therapy day because Ethan had left early, and his classmates missed him. Yes, we are blessed…and so is everyone who Ethan touches with his magical spirit.