When I came across such situation, I just smiled and left it at that. Truth is, I wasn't even sure if he was going to enter standard 1.
At year end, I see a lot of photos of friends sending their kids for orientation and first day of school in uniform. A proud moment for any parent, definitely. I couldn't help but feel a bit envious.
Raising a child as special as Raees is not easy. In order to ensure he gets the chance to learn as well as other kids in his early years, the choice of preschool is vital.
We tried enrolling him to a kindergarten when he was 3-4 years old. But that didn't turn out well.
We turned to Early Intervention Programme (EIP) that aims to help children with learning issues. Besides academic, the programme also includes occupational therapy and speech therapy. So that was just perfect!
But it didn't come cheap. We had to spend A LOT every month for Raees. At one point it took a toll on our financial. But we had to make that sacrifice for Raees' sake.
As 2016 was fast approaching, as of December we were still uncertain on where he would go. We knew he's not ready for mainstream school.
It was either:
A) Special education at a government school
B) Delay entry to primary school by a year and enter kindergarten (with hope he'll be ready for mainstream school a year later)
C) Private/international school with shadow aide (a person dedicated to guide him in class)
We were not keen on option A - we have our reasons. Option B looked most likely but we had second thoughts. And we couldn't afford option C.
But in late December, we discovered a special school. A brand-spanking new school just 2 minutes drive from our home. It teaches mainstream school syllabus (KBSR) but with special approach for special children. It has classes for standard 1-3.
When I first heard it, I thought Raees must go there! It's everything we were looking for. We paid a visit to the center with the kids. I liked what I saw and heard.
But first Raees needed to pass the assessment. This bugged me because Raees doesn't cooperate well with new people and environment.
Two days later we received a call from the center saying that judging from the first impression during our visit to the center, it seems that Raees isn't ready for the school.
Bummer. Raees didn't even make it to the assessment.
But I didn't give up. I appealed. I showed doctor's report on Raees' school readiness assessment, sample exercises that he has done, video of him obediently doing his work, comments from his teachers...anything I can think of to proof what Raees is really capable of.
You see, Raees behaves differently at school with teachers compared when he's with us (especially with his daddy, Raees tends to do his own thing his way). So what they saw before that was the other side of him.
Given the new info, the school agreed to conduct the assessment. Four days of assessment and we finally got the good news we were hoping for. Alhamdulillah!
Now I can confidently say, my son, Raees, is in standard 1 😊 (man, that feels good!)
So Raees bids farewell to EIP and starts a new journey as a school boy. #PrayForRaees
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