It's official! Cory now is registered to hearing preschool, near our home. (The Biggest Little Preschool). I hope I made the right decision. Today, I had to leave him there to see how he fares without me/support. (that part was easy..ha ha) Apparently, the teachers are content enough to accept him and told us that he can start in January! It makes me a little sad in sense. This decision is really tough for me, I have wondered if this is right for him or not. Really, I feel like I am missing that "step" in direction by putting him in hearing preschool whereas I wish he could stay in specialized preschool for early interventation and readiness BEFORE he move on to that next level. Unfortunately, it's not the case. I hope he won't far behind and be able to meet the same as his peers. (No ..I do NOT expect him to be exactly the same as his peers..I expect that , yes.) but I do not want him to get too "behind" with his developments of all areas. That is the only concern I had for him. Ideally, I had hope he would be staying in his current program and work really hard and be ready for the "next" level by Sept. 2011. Things didn't go as we originally thought, so hopefully, we'll find this preschool a great chance for Cory to grow and learn more.
We have a few things to do before his enrollment or rather during the first month of it , is to provide services for the center to help Cory with classroom settings. His speech therapist will meet up with the teachers and give a mini workshop to explain about Cochlear Implants "Do's and Don'ts" etc and how it works etc. Things like The importance of classroom settings for the children with hearing loss, try to reduce noise backgrounds, how to give visual aids, how to use FM (still working on it to get one!) and how to use tactics for communications etc. Make sure where he sits, (central) beside kids who are good examples (quietest ones) teacher not to sit behind a window, using pointer and pictures and so on. We try to teach them how to make things easier for kids so they are part of the program. (not become isolated) And also, get a sign language instructor to come in as well, to give them the basics ECE vocabulary signs for a hour and talk about what is like having hearing loss, (she have hearing loss herself) and another day, she can come in for a day to "mentor" the teachers through the classroom time, providing several signs needed to know etc.
I have some few ideas to help and give support for Cory, he will need. One of the idea I have is to take a photo of each kids and paste them on a wall on a poster and in his home book. So it will help him to make friends by practicing their names. His homebook will be something I will start , teacher can write briefly with how he do that day, what do we need help with etc? What he learn that day so I can follow up on that at home to give him that extra "feeding" of learning. SO he won't miss out too much or get behind ..
Once we do all that, I will feel more at content and relieved that Cory is receiving the best care and support from the people who will be working with him and for him. It doesn't mean I won't be stopping being the advocacy "mom" , I will always be there for him.