Graduation 2010

Today was a big day – graduation from the early childhood program at school.  Yep, he’s headed to kindergarten. 

Actually, the big day was a few weeks ago when we had our twice a year meetings with his teachers.  This time around, we got the news – he no longer qualifies for any additional services.  In other words, they’re booting him from the program – and in EC terms, we call that a success story. 

When we first entered the EC program in March 2008 (and I remember the meeting very well), the goals of the program were explained to us quite clearly: EC is in place to help kids that are at some disadvantage or risk of being “behind the curve” by they time they’re kindergarten age.  Whether it’s a learning disability, a speech delay (as was our case) or some other circumstance, the goal is for kids to no longer need additional help by the time kindergarten rolls around.  For us, the system worked exactly the way it’s supposed to work, and we couldn’t be happier. 

We both think that he’s far better prepared for school than we could have ever hoped, and that’s certainly no accident.  We’ve been very fortunate to have the teachers and therapists around him that were all genuinely invested in the boy’s success.  Without them, we’d probably still be wondering if he would ever talk, socialize, be trusting of others, play – you know, just be like a normal little boy. 

So at the risk of missing someone (apologies in advance), all of us here at Pug Hollow offer our undying gratitude to the people that made all of this possible:

  • Connie Shelton & Karen Sanchez – the boy’s first teachers, who went out of their way to ease the stress of the whole thing on both student and parents.  More importantly, they helped him find his voice.
  • Kristine David, Lorrie Wiley and Holly Wolff – last year’s team, who helped the entire family understand the value of adding some structure to our daily lives.  It was with them that he found his ability to communicate and express himself.
  • Tracey Mark, Laurie Stoneking, Ann Goodin, Jody Delaplane and Tonya Kneller – it’s been amazing to watch the rate at which his development accelerated this year.  He’s shown such great growth in so many areas, but I think that the one thing this group helped him find was his personality.

It’s been said many times before in this space that our job as parents is to give our kids the best running start at success that we can give them.  We knew that all of these things were in him, but we just didn’t know how to unlock them.  They did, and we will always be thankful for that. 

And yes, we have some pictures – the faithful Pug Hollow followers would be angry with me if I didn’t post some pictures… 

Filing in for the Graduation Ceremony
Waiting to begin… 
Crossing over the “graduation bridge” to receive his diploma from Miss Tracey
Diploma in hand, offering the big “thumbs up”
Celebrating the day with Mom
Celebrating the day with his teachers (of course, look who’s goofing up the picture – again).  He’s got a knack for producing memorable school pictures.

Thanks for a great year – it’s off to kindergarten we go!