Dexter starts Kindy! Four years cancer clear and quadriplegic cerebral palsy, a vision impairment and being non-verbal won't stop Dexter!
I AM A BIG SCHOOL BOY NOW!!! I started Kindergarten! I had a really fun day and I was super chatty when I got home. My teachers are really nice and I have already made some friends! I'm a bit tired now, but happy to be going back! The school and the staff are amazing. They have done everything possible to make sure we felt welcome. They have made sure they are being totally inclusive. They are going to create an amazing foundation for all of my future schooling.
The teachers have watched Mum, to see how she talks with me and how she listens for my responses. They have asked about how to make sure I get enough food and drink. They thought about ways I can play in the playground with the other kids, and how I can choose where I play. They are teaching the children to see me, and my strengths. On my second day of school, so many children called out to me, saying hello and waving. My teachers made sure there were thick textas, so I could hold them and draw with my new friends. There are so many things the staff have done that have made our hearts smile. I am so lucky.
What I Love About School
Perhaps the best thing about my new school is the positive approach everyone has. With that positive approach, the other children will most likely learn to see my character. They will see my cheekiness and my happiness. They might learn how strong, determined and brave I am. They might learn that I have many great things to offer, even though I am in a wheelchair and don't use the same words they do. If that happens, I will thrive at school. This is the best we can hope for. One very respected lady we know has repeatedly spoken about how clever I am. She said I just need technology to catch up and give me a voice. She's right.
My communication switch was on my wheelchair tray. My switch can have a few sentences recorded on it. When I press the button, the recorded sentences play. The first morning, my switch said: "Hi! I'm Dexter.' I pressed and pressed and pressed and pressed that button! I wanted everyone to know who I was!
On my first day of school, I did some colouring and some painting and I borrowed my first school library book! I came home very excited, with lots of things to tell everyone! I like school.
Mum was so embarrassing! I have one of my floor mats at school. It's there in case I drool or spit or drip food from my mouth. It's there to keep the floor clean, just in case. So, that morning... Mum lay down on the mat with me and made me give her a kiss... In Front Of Everyone! I know she only kissed me in front of everyone because she is so proud of how far I have come and all that I have achieved. She knows how much I have worked. She knows the pain I have gone through. She knows how much I try. She wants to say this:
"Thank you to the people who believe in him and never once questioned our choice of mainstream school, but instead embraced and encouraged it. I'm scared, but excited for the next few years!"
To the people who believe in me... You make us stronger! Thank you!
There were many moments when we didn't think I would make it to school. I have needed a lot of help, at various times, to remember to breathe and to keep my heart pumping. But, we made it! I'm here! I'm a Kindergarten Kid!
I'm in a great spot and we're all excited for what's to come.
**The local news shared my first Kindergarten morning. You can watch the video on my blog.