When exploring the different childcare/ preschool options, my husband, Matt, and I looked no further once we found High Hopes! Like many first-time parents, I was somewhat paranoid (and probably overly cautious) about the safety of my child. I wanted him in a place where I knew he would receive the best care possible! But, unlike many parents that come to High Hopes, my husband and I were not seeking a school for children with special needs. We were aware of the developmental programs offered by High Hopes. However, we just really loved the warm and friendly staff and teachers, the care and attention that each child receives (small class size), and the security. For our son RJ (now 5 years old) and our daughter Maggie-Jo (2 years old), High Hopes has been the only preschool they have...
Kids are weird. Aren't we all? However, when it comes to differences caused by damage to the brain, it seems we still operate more from fear or a lack of understanding, and many times, understanding only comes through a personal experience. Being the mother of a child with special needs has opened my eyes to ignorance and discrimination, but coincidentally it has also opened up a special pocket of the world that celebrates and shouts inclusion. The Dobsons' family story encompasses struggle and uncertainty, but also joy and community, and discusses the true meaning and impact of the word "inclusion..."
How fast does your heart beat? I can’t begin to explain how enormous that question is to me. The words “heart” and “beat” put together are so powerfully magnificent. Heartbeat- passion, vitality, warmth, health. I have been listening to heartbeats for the last six years religiously. The first time I really heard one that I paid attention to was during my first pregnancy with our now six-year-old boy. I imagined motherhood to be this lovely journey full of monograms and Pottery Barn nursery decorations. I envisioned an altered vaccination schedule and never ever needing to pay for education. I imagined I would drive a beautiful enormous SUV and retain my rocking Pilates body for the long haul. And with one heartbeat everything changed. Read about Colleen's motherhood journ...
Charlie’s first day of school just so happened to be the day I gave birth to his brother and sister. This was not planned. Nothing about any of my pregnancies or deliveries or mom-life really was. But ever since he turned two, High Hopes was part of the plan. It’s important as a parent of a child with special needs (or any human really) to build your tribe. You need your people. The ones you can rely on to help without question, to offer an ear without judgment, and who “get” your family and how it works. For us, outside of family, it’s High Hopes.
Every day at 7 AM, the High Hopes preschool opens its doors to fill eight classrooms with students, both typically developing and with special needs. Each classroom has two to three teachers overseeing our students’ needs throughout the school day, and the bonds formed between these kiddos and their teachers are very strong.
Those of you with children in the preschool have undoubtedly heard your little one talk about their teachers, about their day, what they learned.
But you might wonder what it feels like from the teacher’s perspective, arriving every day to face the joys and the challenges of preschool and inclusion.
One teacher has shared her thoughts on the subject, and she starts it out with these words:
I have the best job.
If I’ve thought it once, I’ve thought it a million...