Rosemary, the mother of Tamiya, a two year old girl turning three with developmental delays shares her view on the upcoming transition of her daughter into a childcare program. (running time: 2 min. 27 sec.)
My little baby girl is on her way to preschool. I would guess every parent goes through a mix of emotions at this stage, but as a parent of a child with disabilities, these worries are bigger for me. I want Tamiya to grow and develop, to play and make friends, but most importantly I want her to be safe and happy. Yes, I’m nervous about letting go, but my husband and I agree that this is what’s best not only for Tamiya, but for our family as a whole.
I know the teachers and staff at the childcare center are concerned too. And I understand. Believe me, I didn’t know what was in store for our family when Tamiya was born. Having a child with a disability isn’t something that you sign up for or that you plan for in advance. It just happens and your expectations of what it means to be a parent are turned upside down and yet somehow you manage to land on your feet. You do what it takes, you learn quickly, and I’m confident with the right support and guidance, the teachers can do it too.
Tamiya has been receiving early intervention services in our home. The service coordinator connected us with a speech therapist, an occupational therapist, and a wonderful physical therapist, who has been working with her since she was born. Tamiya is a very shy, quiet child and she has a hard time getting comfortable with people in a new situation. So, I’m worried how that will go in the new school and who will be providing her therapy. I really hope the staff at the center get to see the Tamiya that I know at home. She talks all the time and loves to sing and dance. But I know it is going to take her some time to get used to this new place and people.
I really want to help make sure that the staff is comfortable and confident in caring for Tamiya. I want to be open and honest with the information that staff need, and try to share what life is really like for us. Leaving Tamiya is going to be so hard for me. I hope the staff can help us, because this is a big transition for all of us.