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Gabe’s vocabulary has exploded in the last few weeks and Kristie and I are both thrilled and usually thoroughly amused by the hilarious phrases Gabe has been saying. One of Gabe’s new favorite phrases is ordering burgers, french fries and nuggets, with the occasional milkshake (SO CUTE!). One of the goals Kristie and I have for his IEP (individual education plan) is for more unprompted two to three word phrases and we have been noticing rapid improvement in his vocabulary since Gabe had his tonsils and adenoids removed and started school.  I mentioned last week how important it is to Kristie and me for Gabe to be in an inclusive classroom. When I went to school, (small-town Minnesota, K thru 12 in one building and a graduating class just over 40 students) I had a few classmates with special needs and at the time I didn’t fully appreciate how valuable they were to me growing up. I reflect on the life lessons they provided me to this day and I want to thank them for everything they taught me about life and being the wonderful individuals they are.

 As far as the discussion for classroom disruptions caused by children with special needs, I never experienced one classroom disruption (in twelve years) caused from a child with special needs (as opposed to the many disruptions caused by the "typical" students).

Gabe has been doing great with getting dropped off at school.  He lines up with the other students and walks into the classroom like a big man. Usually, with a quick “Bye Mom” or "Bye Dad" to us. I cannot stress enough how proud we are of Gabe and what he has already achieved. I also want to thank his teachers and assistants for helping him make the transition to the classroom. Kristie and I both believe that having Gabe in therapy helped prepare Gabe for school, since he was used to working with his therapists and not just being with Mom or Dad all the time. The routine of regular therapy built a foundation for making a successful transition to school. For those parents who don’t see the immediate benefits of therapy, I cannot stress to you the importance of therapy for your child. You may not notice the immediate improvements, as we questioned this as well quite a bit. Looking back we are so happy with all of the therapy sessions Gabe had as we know it helped prepare him to make the transition to school a smooth one. If you are a parent of a child with special needs, your child will benefit from therapy. It is your job to take care of your child and provide them the best possible environment for them to succeed. Although it can be hard, making time to get take them to and from therapy is so important. It is a lot of work and Kristie is amazing at hauling Gabe and the girls to 5 hours of therapy appointments each week.  Do your best to make it a point to do at least one therapy a week. There is no greater feeling in the world then watching your child succeed and you probably won’t get a “thank you” or a “congratulations card” but that’s not why we do it. We all know being a parent is thankless job and we  don’t do it for recognition, we do it because we love our children more than anything in the world.

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