I was helping O with her homework yesterday afternoon and I realised that we are in the middle of week 7 of the term. That means that there are just over three weeks left of the school year. Where on earth has this year gone?
It honestly feels like just last month that we received L's official diagnosis of Autism and were reading the seventeen page report of all the things that he can't do or struggles with. The year has gone far too quickly.
And yet in 12 months so much has changed, and for the better.
We've been incredibly fortunate this year with O and L's teachers, aides and carers at school, day care, OSHC, therapy and swimming.
O and L have built wonderful relationships with all the teachers that they have had contact with this year and I'm very thankful for everything that they have all done for my little superheroes.
O is in year 2 this year and her teacher, Ms S, has been extremely supportive and encouraging of O. Many a times have we heard from O "but Ms S said this" or "I have to do this because Ms S wants it done this way!"
O has learnt so much this year in her class and it has been wonderful to see her little brain go into over drive when she was learning new knowledge at school. O has been challenged with some of the work that she has been doing, she's in a split year 2/3 class, but she has loved every minute of it. O proudly tells us when she gets 20 out of 20 on her spelling tests or has extension words. And her love of books makes me very happy. O got the Shakespeare Collection out on the weekend to start reading again but she also loves reading story books to her little brother! She makes me proud every day.
O has enjoyed every moment in Ms S's class and she is certainly going to miss being in Ms S's class! O thought it was great when she found out that her teacher was marrying Superman at the end of the school year! She wanted to chase Superman at Movieworld just so that she could get a picture for Ms S!
O has also built wonderful trusting relationships with the carers at the OSHC that she attends. She loves going and looks forward to seeing all her friends and the staff when I am working. So much so that when Daddy superhero goes to pick her up, he often gets told "but I don't want to go home, I'll wait until Mummy finishes!" On the way to school the other morning, she said "On the holidays Mum I want to got to vacation care, even on your day off!" It is great to see her so settled and happy.
L started Kindy at the beginning of this year. It was a very anxious time for him and us as we were concerned how L would go in the school environment.
We needn't have worried. His teacher Mrs S and his aides Mrs DC and Mrs S have been a godsend. They just got L within the first few weeks of school. He has really come out of his shell through out the year. All three of his teachers and aides have been able to get him to change into his school uniform and wear shoes which is something that we still struggle with - we get told by L "cos Mrs W says I have to!" Mrs W is the principal! L still occasionally throws a wobbly when I drop him off but he has started pushing me out of the classroom door saying "bye, you go now Mummy!"
I love that L is pushing me out the door as it means that he is finally comfortable at school. It makes me a very happy mamma! It also puts my mind at ease as I know that L is in great hands at school with his teachers.
When we were on holidays in Queensland L would come out with "hey Mummy, check this out, it toilet like Mrs S" or "I tell Mrs DC about this" and "but you got to buy capes for Mrs S and Mrs S and Mrs DC!" According to L, what Mrs S, Mrs DC and Mrs S say is gospel! He is going to miss being with them next year but I am sure that when he sees them in the playground, he'll be straight over for a high five, a cuddle and a chat!
L has also built wonderful relationships with the staff at the day care centre. He has his moments but he is settled and happy there. He is joining in with activities, he has made some wonderful friends and he has fun! He might not always say goodbye, but he does love being at the centre.
And of course there is L's Tara School. Tara is his most favourite person and if he could he would go to Tara's school every day. Tara's School has definitely been a game changer, L has learnt so much there and his confidence grows every time he attends the centre.
All of L and O's teachers, carers, aides and coaches have brought the best out of both of them this year. They have both achieved so much and have come so far. I couldn't have asked for better role models and teachers in their lives. Instead of reading about what they can't do, we're hearing about all the things that they can do. Can't is not in their vocabulary anymore!
From the bottom of my heart, to all of O and L's teachers, aides, carers, therapists and coaches, thank you so much for all the effort that you've all put in for my children this year. You've helped to set them up to achieve great things. At times it has been a very challenging year, but when I see how far they have both come, it's all worth it. And I can't wait to see what they can achieve next year.
Bring on the 2017 school year!!