School Placement

Yesterday was a HUGE day for me in the school placement department.

The day started for me at the local special needs preschool where the special education team wants to send Nathan. They usually don’t schedule appointments until much closer to transition time, but the team knew how nervous and apprehensive I was, so they allowed me to see the program early. I have to admit I was completely amazed!

The class that they will most likely recommend for Nathan has about 10 kids with multiple disabilities. A few are verbal, but most are non-verbal. Nathan would be the most severe physically, but socially and cognitively he would be on par with the other kids. I almost cried when I watched how wonderful the teachers and aides were with the kids. They were kind and gentle, they talked to them the entire time as they helped them eat, play, draw. It was about a 1:2 ratio, and it felt like there was plenty of help and support for the kids. It just felt like a warm, supportive, secure environment where Nathan would be able to thrive. The hallways were crowded with gait trainers, special chairs, walkers, special tricycles – pretty much any and every device, they have. They also have a therapy unit in the building so they can do PT, Speech, and OT by walking a few steps down the hall.

My heart felt happy as I watched the kids and I could totally imagine Nathan in that setting. In fact I almost wanted him to start already as I feel that he will benefit so much from a structured, social environment. All of my fears were assuaged and I was just so happy that this is the school that is in our area! It’s just a few blocks away from our house! I realized I probably wasn’t going to need to hire a private detective to spy on the teacher and on Nathan while in class 🙂 The teacher and aides all seemed really cool and intent on making it a good experience for the kids.

In my heart I know that this is definitely going to be a part of Nathan’s future.

However, during my meeting with Deb yesterday, she told me about Waldorf education, and I was SO impressed. It turns out that the lady that I meant on Sunday, Tisha, works with someone that Deb knew from the Waldorf school in Pasadena who has a preschool locally. I was blown away by the way she described the Waldorf philosophy and curriculum, so I believe this will also be a part of Nathan’s educational future. I will be observing that class as well in the next few days. Talk about synchronicities! To meet a stranger at a Farmer’s Market who is part of the only Waldorf school in the Valley, who knows the person whom I am meeting with the following day! It really blew my mind.

I also have one more program to observe: Chime Institute. They offer an inclusion program where 3/4 of the class is typical kids, and 1/4 is special needs kids. I have an appointment with them on Wednesday 🙂

So hopefully by the end of this week I would’ve seen all of the classes and will have a better idea of what would serve Nathan’s best interest. In my gut I am thinking it will be a combination of the special needs preschool and the waldorf school – 3 days in one, 2 days in the other.

Before making any decisions, I will pray and meditate about it, to try and come up with the best offering for Nathan’s garden 🙂


  1. My MIL has a Master’s in Early Childhood and she love, love, loves the Waldorf schools. The closest one is an hour away, though, so it’s not really doable for us. Sounds really amazing, though!

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