Elijah was in a self-contained special-ed classroom for the past three years, but in kindergarten he's in a regular classroom. He does have a special education teacher and classroom too, but he's in the main classroom as much a possible.
This idea of mainstreaming was both exhilarating and terrifying to me. Would the other "typical" kids accept Elijah? Would they be nice? Is this even going to work? I get reports on what Elijah does at school, but I've often wondered... how are the other kids reacting to him? Is he accepted? Do they like him?
Every day when I get home from picking Elijah up from school, I eagerly open his backpack to read his daily report. Sometimes there's little tidbits such as: "Elijah read with a classmate today" or "Elijah played Candyland with a friend." I tingle with excitement at these notes. A friend.
|"I like Elijah"|
|Translation: "I love Elijah and my whole class! Elijah from Elsie"|
|Close-up of Elijah. I love the details of his glasses and his high-top shoes with long laces.|
|Translation: "I love you because you are my favorite. Do you like blue, do you?"|
|Close-up of the drawing - Elijah and Elsie with hearts|
Holding these pages in my hands, I let the tears flow down my cheeks. Elijah is a kindergartner. Elijah is loved. He is accepted. He is exactly where he should be. We hear so much about bullying and mean kids - what about stories such as these? What about big puffy hearts and love? What about this girl's ability to see past Elijah's disabilities to see his awesomeness?
I have so much hope for the future.