Saturday, March 23, 2013

What is going on with that cute kid, you ask.

Easter Picture with a chick that Eli wouldn't actually touch. :)
Hello Friends! I am delighted to share with you about Eli's recent progress. We moved! It's a big deal and we didn't really talk about it in our social media because it was pretty stressful and the reason we were moving might have been offensive to some. Let me explain.
We moved for two main reasons 1. Eli needed some home modifications. The steep driveway, drop off on the side of the driveway and the layout of the house was not ideal for our sweet kid. 2. We felt that Eli needed to be in a different school. This  was a big deal. It's not that his former school was bad...they just didn't have the resources to care for Eli the way David and I wanted. We wanted him in a regular classroom so he could learn at the same pace as his peers and his old school would not accommodate our request. He was also in a room with a child who was allowed to be aggressive toward other kids and she scared Eli really, really badly. So badly, in fact, that he stopped loving school. We certainly don't blame the child. She is non-verbal. But, to allow her to "bully" Eli and the school administration to blow off our concerns was not acceptable to us. He didn't want to go any more. So, we moved!

I'm so happy to report that we made the right decision.  Eli's new school is spectacular. He is loved and adored and the special teacher TOLD US that Eli needed to be in the regular classroom more. It was like the third day he was there so we hadn't really told them yet about our high expectations....but they blew them out of the water without even knowing them. His teachers (both regular class and special class) are the most amazing human beings and teachers. Eli LOVES going to school again. Eli is teaching his peers about accepting people the way they are and how to be compassionate and patient.
The first day we went  for a tour of the school, the principal came out to greet David and me with hugs then she sat down on the floor in front of Eli and started talking to him about swimming with a dolphin in Hawaii....because she had read his blog! Then the special teacher Amy comes around the corner and the almost first thing out of her mouth is "I saw you swimming with a dolphin, Eli." We knew, at that very second, we had found the perfect place for Eli's education. What an amazing group of educators! Thanks Jenks West Elementary!!

At his new school, they did some testing on him to qualify him for special education services. They discovered that his social and emotional level is at 10 years 1 month.  That means that he is as socially and emotionally mature as his older sister. And, I believe it! It's not necessarily a good thing that the circumstances of Eli's life have caused him to mature and deal with things beyond his age, but it makes him such an amazing human.
Eli's new Physical Therapist at school told us that we should be sharing Eli with more people because he is such a brightener. It is so true. If you haven't had the pleasure of meeting Eli in person, you are really missing out.

We are in the process of getting Eli new "shoes." In fact, we are using a brand new prosthetics clinic in OKC called Scott Sabolich Prosthetics and Research. Again, we feel like we have hit the jackpot. Soon, I'll be able to post a picture of Elijah wearing some new legs .
We love you all!


Emily said...

I am soooooo glad you are with us at Jenks. I firmly believe the school district really matters and has a huge impact on the future of all the kids they teach. Now that I've been somewhere and returned to Jenks, I know you made the right decision. Sooooo happy for you. That kid is a life changer and he will do great things. I can't wait to see him grow!

April Walter said...

Welcome to the Jenks family. I do believe they have the best program for Eli's needs. One of my good friends is a PT @ Jenks (Jamey Fox).

Mary Tucker said...

Glad to hear you found such a great school for Eli and that he is loving school again.