I remember being in the hospital and saying "If I have to quit my job and sell our house, this child will never have to go to daycare". I know I said it because I pictured a special needs daycare that was the stereotype of an institution in a bad movie. My awesome husband instead of saying "don't be crazy or don't you think thats a little extreme" responded something to the effect of "we'll do whatever we have to to make her happy". When my maternity leave ended I was lucky enough to go back to work part time and be able to have in home care for the 6 weeks prior to and a month after her heart surgery. This was more for me then her because I so was afraid for her to get sick prior to the heart surgery. During that time I looked at lot of daycares, one special needs specific but most not. Even though the special needs care was very nice it just seemed wrong for her. A few of the daycares said they "couldn't care for her needs" - which is interesting looking back because they had no idea at that point what those were. Then I found a beautiful place that didn't seem to give a second thought to her having DS. They had never had a child with DS before but were just so open and caring we decided to give them a try. Cate went to that learning center daycare with her typical peers and no special considerations, except finding her a private place to do therapy until she was 4 years old. We loved it there, the staff loved her, and her playmates loved her. My hasty prediction was completely false - daycare was the perfect place for Cate. She is competitive so she wanted to do what the other kids did so I think it drove her to push herself.
Daycare 3 yrs
When she was 4 we started full time at the public special needs pre-K a half day, with another half day in an inclusive Head Start class. She did great - it was amazing how much she learned in "real" school.
|1st day at PreK|
First Day of Kindergarten - August 2011