Tuesday, September 8, 2009

First day of a new school year for Matty.

As I recall from my own experiences as a kid I always had "butterflies" before the new school year started so I certainly can understand my son's feelings as he starts a new school year in a new school with new teachers and new classmates. It is sometimes a bit overwhelming for a young kid but we all have to experience these feelings as they help us grow and learn to adjust. I am concerned for Matthew because he did have a rough year at his previous school with behavior issues and we had to adjust his medicines to alleviate his anxiety and help control his emotions. Autistic children do have some difficulty in self expression and in making connections in larger groups. Our son needs a very structured setting with trained teachers who know how to handle children on the autism spectrum and he needs a small class setting with more personal attention. At this point we can not expect Matty to be mainstreamed because he is not ready for that but we hope that he can still benefit from a full classroom experience with the same subject matter covered in the regular class room. We are expecting improvement from our son and will maintain constant contact with his teachers and make sure we address his concerns as well as the teachers and help him in the areas where he is experiencing difficulty.

As parents of a young special needs child we rely on the school faculty and administration to address our son's needs and maintain a constant stream of communication with us so we can properly advise and help him. We also know we are not there during the school day so we are relying on the teachers to know how to provide a setting that is ideal for our son that will help him develop and acquire confidence and self esteem and provide a level of comfort and security.

School can be intimidating and we need to have patience and let our son know that he is going through the same feelings that most kids go through and he is no different. He also has some special challenges that we are trying to address so he can learn and have a positive experience. In a school setting learning, having fun and making lasting friendships is what we all seek and the feeling that we are learning at our own pace and making progress is what we hope for. We can obviously experience stress in school too because of the demands and rigors of a grinding schedule. We have to adjust though because our life's pursuits are predicated on our successes in the class room and the sooner we learn this the better off we are and the more prepared we become to handle these challenges.

Autistic children see things differently than normal children so the school experience is not quite the same. This is why they have to have smaller class room settings with more one on one instruction so they can learn more effectively and participate. I know when I was a young kid and being shy having between 40-50 kids in my class made it harder because I could easily just blend in and hardly participate. It is essential that Matty is encouraged to actively participate and follow all the rules set in the class room.

So as a parent I always think of my son during the day and am hoping he is having a good one with positive experiences. We know it is essential that we help our son transition in the new school and listen to him and advise him with the help of his teachers. We look forward to the new school year for our son and we always will be there to help him. I will put trust in the school system and the teachers and administrators to help Matty in his acquiring a proper and beneficial education with a good support system. We have been waiting for the new school year and now it is upon us and Matty starts his first day of the new school year tomorrow.

Matthew, I just want you to know I have every confidence in your abilities and I know it will take some time to adjust but I know you can do it and mommy and I will be behind you and work with your teachers to bring out your best! Good Luck on your first day back at school and in the new school Matty! We love you very much!

Love and kisses,

Mommy & Daddy

Edward D. Iannielli III
Maria Jesusa Gonzales Iannielli

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