Sebastian graduated from 1st grade on June 25th. He attended a school which integrated therapy with academics that went from JK-G1. Some of you might recall that we kept Sebastian in his inclusive (typical and non-typical) pre-school for an extra year so that he would have that extra time with Tallula before he was in school full time. It was also the year he got his g-tube and we wanted him in a familiar environment during a time with so much change. He attended Holland Bloorview IET program for SK-G1 only.
Today you graduated! We are so proud of you. You have grown so much in the two years you’ve been in the IET program at Bloorview. Watching you receive your certificate I swelled up with pride. And tears!
The tears really started to fall when the slide show shared photos of you and your classmates at the beginning of the year and at the end. You’ve had some of these friends since pre-school and others just since SK. You’ve all grown so much!
In the past two years you’ve learned how to do activities and communicate using switches, sharing messages with us from school and vice versa. You also started weekly practice on the eye gaze. You’ve learned how to use programs to help you read and write using your switches too (Clickr6 and ClickrBooks). You quickly communicate what you want using your iPad with a partner and your ‘yes’ and ‘no’ has gotten you far but you are also starting to share more of your own ideas and we are so excited! You love to learn and especially love science. You enjoy being around your friends at school and have loved all of the teachers, EA’s, therapists, volunteers and other important staff at school. You share your sense of humor and your bright smile with everyone. I heard many stories of you racing the halls during mobility in your walker. Kicking the oversized beach ball for soccer practice during PE. Singing songs and choosing the brightest colors in Music/Art and enjoying the puppet shows and jazz concerts at special events during the year. I am so proud of you and every one of your achievements this year. It was difficult to choose which ones to share!
You rode the bus for the first time this year! Last year I drove you every morning and picked you up every afternoon. This year you said you wanted to ride the bus. It was difficult letting you go but I did and it gave you such a sense of independence and it gave me time to make dinner before you got home! It took awhile but we finally got the best driver ever and we were sad to say goodbye. Hopefully next year we will be just as lucky when you take a new bus (and new route) to your new school.
Post graduation photos! Grandma came too! And of course daddy was there and so was Tallula. Though she was visiting with friends during the party afterwards. I think she will miss your school friends almost as much as you will.
We will miss every one of the folks that made your experience so amazing at Bloorview. Starting over can be tough but I think we will be ready once September arrives. For now, we enjoy the summer holidays!