The last time that I checked in was in early December. We were finishing up our time at his early intervention center and, let me tell you, that required a mourning process. That center and the staff and families within became family. Leaving was extremely painful. We all keep in touch and have moved on to our next level of hard work: preschool.
Oliver is in an incredible preschool program. Due to the fact that our local school district does not offer the services that Oliver needs, they have contracted with another school. We are now driving a little over two hours each way during the weekdays. As someone who experiences anxiety while driving in traffic, the drive has been the toughest obstacle. It’s getting easier to handle with time and practice, but I am in need of a deep tissue massage, chiropractic adjustment, and long nap the moment we get home.
From day one, Oliver has made a perfect transition from early intervention services to preschool. The first half of his day is in an “autism only” room, where he is with other kids like him. They receive special education services, in addition to ABA, speech therapy, and occupational therapy. The second half of his day is spent in an intermixed (autism and neurotypical peers) preschool classroom. His teachers adore him and tell me how sweet and funny he was throughout each day.
While dropping him off at school the other day, another kid walked up and whispered, “Mommy, that’s my friend Oliver.” He and Oliver exchanged waves and smiles. I just about melted. He waves as he thanks and offers his farewells to his friends and teachers each day, as we leave. Some days, while he lights up at my being there, he’ll be having so much fun that he has a hard time leaving. I’m so grateful that Oliver is in a place that he loves and is benefitting from. The long commute has been hard, but it couldn’t be more worth it.