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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Why I Loved Madi's Preschool

Today I was looking through the album Madi's preschool teacher posted with pictures she took of the kiddos throughout the year.  The one thing that really stuck out to me was how much Madi was included.  Too often you hear parents say they have to fight for accessibility and inclusion, and it really shouldn't be like that.  Stepping Stones is a private preschool that did not have to make any modifications for Madi, but they were excited to have her come to school there, and took it upon themselves to make it a safe and comfortable place for her.  They lowered sinks, poured concrete, and made the play areas accessible.  I think that speaks volumes for how much they care about their children!!  There are also things you can't see in the pictures, like the fact that they would change Madi's pull up and/or clothes for her if she had an accident or her vesicostomy leaked too much.  I had told them I was happy to come change her, because I know it's probably hard to stop teaching to help her, but they never called me once and made sure she had the modifications she needed at preschool.  Here are a few pictures from her past preschool year; I think you will see why I love her preschool so much.


Notice that cupcake?  It's a gluten, dairy, egg-free homemade cupcake they let me bring in for the class, so they could all enjoy a treat Madi could have too.
 

 
Madi was always put down to explore when she wanted.  They made sure she got where she wanted to go and didn't let her wheelchair keep her out of places.

 
Notice the chair behind Madi?  Since she can reach the sand and water table easier from a chair, they helped her transfer.  They always did what made her comfortable.

 
Who doesn't love going down the slide with friends???  Madi's teacher would help her climb up the ramp, giving her just a small amount of support, so that she could do it "all by herself" like all the other kiddos...

 
Down in the snow!

 
I love that her teacher wasn't afraid to pick her up and put her right in the middle of what was going on.
 

 
Notice she's sitting with the other kiddos... not on the sidelines!



 
It's hard to tell from this picture, but this is in a police truck they use during shoot outs and the such.  It's high off the ground and had narrow, tiny stairs.  They made sure Madi was brought up, though, so she could participate.
 






Driving a fire truck....  not stuck watching the other kids doing it


I am sad that this was Madi's last year in preschool, but I am so thankful she got such an amazing experience and was so well taken care of! 

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