Lisa Leonard Designs

friends.

August 27th | older posts

thank you. your sweet comments, encouragement and prayers mean so much to me.

i had such a hard time writing about my grandma. it feels so personal and i have been trying not to let the lump in my throat take over and turn me into a blubbering mess. my grandma passed away about half an hour after after i posted about her. we are so glad she won’t be in any more pain and that she is home with her Savior. i can’t begin to imagine how free and joyful she is now. ok, moving on before i fall apart…
yesterday was david’s first day of school. i was nervous, but met with his teacher and LOVED her. she is amazing. and the staff working in the classroom? the best! the problem? david is tiny. he literally 20 pounds and about the size of an 18 month old or a small 2 year old. The rest of the kids tower over him and because they also have special needs, aren’t particularly careful about not bumping into (or completely smooshing) him.

i arrived 20 minutes early to pick him up so i could observe the classroom a bit and felt confident that he must have a 1:1 aide with him at all times, just for safely, not to mention being included in activities. even with a 1:1 aide, i’m not sure i feel good about the placement. when he was in preschool, the kids towered over him. Now he is in a K, 1, 2 special day class and he is just so tiny. (did i mention how small he is??) So we are putting our heads together with the school staff and administration to try to figure out the best place for David–where he can be safe and be with his typical peers. i know some of you special needs moms out there face this same dilema. any advise??

i’ve got some fun, fun stuff to show you, so check back tomorrow. have a great wednesday!!

35 Responses

  1. sarah says:

    I am so sorry for your pain. But what a *wonderful* place your grandma is in right now!

    I absolutely loved the picture you posted yesterday of her hands. So elegant & lovely, even after 93 years. Those hands tell me a million stories, and i never even had the pleasure of meeting her. God bless.

  2. Theresa says:

    My prayers are with you for your healing. At least you can take comfort that she is home with our Heavenly Father.

    David being so small would be a concern for me also. I am sure that you will be able to find a solution.

  3. Posey says:

    I lost my Mother in May and it really helps to know that she is in a wonderful place. She was sick for a very, very long time so I would rather have her in the place she is now, than here with us and suffering.

    I totally understand your concerns with David. Keep pushing for a solution until you feel satisfied.

  4. Tracy says:

    May you feel the warmth of God’s embrace as you face the painful loss of your dear grandmother…I don’t know you personally, but I will keep you in my prayers.
    For a decade, I taught children with special needs and I hope that you will not have to push too hard to get him the most inclusive classroom setting possible with a 1:1 aide and plenty of special ed support so that any needed modifications can be made to ensure his safety and success…I will keep David in my prayers, too! God Bless!

  5. Jessica says:

    I’ve been thinking about the post your wrote about your grandmother. We are coming up on the anniversary of my grandpies death and your words really resonated with me these days. I’m not a special needs mama, but I am a speech therapist and work a lot with families trying to find just the right place for their kiddos. My words of advice are to be in the class and observe and then go to other classes that might be good fits and visit them and be obnoxious. The squeaky wheel always gets the grease. Good luck!!!

  6. Heidi @ GGIP says:

    My sincere sympathy on your loss.

    I haven’t the knowledge to give you any advice about the school issues, but I hope you’ll let us know so I can tuck it away for future reference.

  7. Jeannett Gibson says:

    Love you. Hang in there.

  8. Stacy says:

    So sorry you are hurting, Lisa, but it’s comforting to know your grandma is with her Heavenly Father now.

    I hope everything works out with David being in a new classroom – best of luck!

  9. Rays Family says:

    Oh Lisa, I wish I had some good advice about David’s class, I do know that you should follow your heart and as his Mom, you might have to insist that his aid is truly only his aid. You might even go so far to ask if you can take part in picking who would be the best fit for David. If you get a good one, she can help protect him and still allow him to not get lost in the crowd. Remember too, you have the final say when it comes to David, they have to provide him exactly what he needs. I will be praying for you guys. I also know that you sure will miss your grama and I’m really sorry for your loss.

    Anne

  10. Brianne says:

    Sorry to hear about your grandma. As I posted before, you and your family are definitely in my prayers.

    I can’t believe how tiny David is. It is obvious that he’s a teeny guy from the pictures you post, but wow, 20 lbs., and he’s in Kindergarten. I would definitely be extremely concerned about his classroom situation. My 18 month old weighs like 28 lbs. (My husband is 6’6″ 290 lbs, so she’s going to be a big girl). I will pray that the situation gets sorted out for precious David’s sake. He definitely needs to be where he is the safest, and it doesn’t sound like that location is in the room he is in at this time! Everything will work out, I’m sure! Can’t wait to hear updates, and see the new cool things you have to show us. Hopefully one of them is my necklace!!! :o )

    Brianne

  11. asnipofgoodness says:

    I am so sorry Lisa, for your loss, but rejoicing over her gain. I am so glad you have so many special memories of her that you can share with your little guys in the years to come! So wonderful to have the assurance of where she is!

    Have you ever considered homeschooling your boys? I know that is a big step, but no one can love and protect your boys the way you and your husband can. I know I was so glad that I had kept Crockett home. I never had to worry. Just wanted to plant the seed. Love to you, enjoying your blog as usual.

  12. Karen says:

    I’m so sorry to hear that your grandma passed away. We’ll be praying for you and your family.

    I have no words of wisdom for the school sitation, but I am curious to hear what you finally decide to do for David since we will be facing similar issues in a few years. The 1:1 aide sounds like a great idea.

  13. The Smith's says:

    Im sorry to hear of your grandmother’s passing. I have two granmothers in bad health and you have inspired me to visit them both and take lots of photos! I even thought of a necklace maybe with my grandmothers initials??? something to keep her close to my heart? Im thinking … and watching your necklaces for ideas that I might be able to order from you.

  14. joy says:

    very sweet picture of the boys. it’s so hard to say good-bye to someone we love. i hope the school is able to really work with you and give David what he needs. hugs and love to you and your family.

  15. Denissa says:

    Lisa,
    I'm sorry about your grandma, though how sweet that you & your family can rejoice that she is in the presence of the Lord. Something that may help during this time is Ecclesiastes 3: 1-4.
    I think that some of the best advice I've been given as a mom is that you are your child's only advocate. If something needs to be addressed don't hesitate.
    You are in my prayers and thoughts!

  16. Jill says:

    So very sorry for your loss, Lisa… praying for your peace and comfort at this time of loss… Praise be to God that she is in heaven…

    Many hugs to you and yours…

  17. cdls says:

    I agree that David should have a 1:1 aide. Baylee has ALWAYS had an aide….from age 2 to now. There’s no way she would do well without one. Demand it and don’t budge on the IEP until he gets one. Don’t worry about the size or our kids….Baylee’s peers have always been extremely kind and tender with her. She’s always been quite popular with her peers even though she basically ignores most of them. She seems to have “friends” wherever we go. Our kids are also pretty tough and wirey. I think Baylee could whoop most of them if she wanted to….she whoops me and her Dad who is 285 lbs. It was scary at first knowing how tiny she was, but once I saw how wonderful her peers were with her (and knowing how strong she is despite her size), I knew she would be just fine.

    Lastly, I’m so sorry to hear about your Grandma’s passing. Hugs to you.

  18. i know a mom says:

    Thinking of you – I’m sorry to hear about your grandma – but know you will find healing in knowing she is in a better place.

    And, I don’t have any experience with kids in school or any advice…but knowing the little amount I do about you…I know you’ll do the absolute best thing for David – you’re a wonderful mama!

  19. Sarah Markley says:

    so sorry about your grandmother, lisa.

  20. Pink Lemonade Bags says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!

    Hugs,

    Caroline

    p.s. I just sent you an email.

  21. Kathleen says:

    prayers for you and your family and hugs. it is so wonderful that you have such beautiful memories of someone so special to you.

  22. jjjourneyahead says:

    Lisa…..so sorry to hear about your loss, but I’m so happy that she is with the Lord!

  23. Tina says:

    Your grandma is lovely and I have prayed for you tonight that the God of all comfort be felt in this time of grief. May HIS comfort equal your grandma’s JOY at seeing HIS face!

  24. ~Jenn Danza~ says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss. May God’s embrace ease the pain. God bless you and your family.

  25. Brenda Williams says:

    Sorry to hear of your grandma’s passing – you will be in our prayers.

  26. Renee says:

    Let’s all say a huge cheer for someone who celebrated 93 glorious years on this earth! What a story I am sure she is. The things that you have been able to enjoy and learn through her are such beautiful blessings. I wish you peace in your heart as you grieve her loss.
    As far as your precious David, you know in your heart if where he is right or not. If it’s not, don’t fret ..go with your heart. It will never steer you wrong when it comes to your boys.

  27. Penny Malley says:

    Lisa, you and Chrissie and the gang are in my prayers tonight. She is in a better place; it’s always harder for those of us who are left behind. Give your boys an extra snuggle tonight!

  28. mull-berry says:

    Please find a local chapter of the ARC at:http://www.thearc.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=183&srcid=-2.

    There are laws in place that give your child rights to certain things that some schools either can't, won't or don't even know about. A rep from ARC can attend your sons IEP meeting (for free) and help get the things he needs … even if they are not in place right now. I recommend to start off on the right foot now while he is just starting school.

    Also, go to your state's department of education website and find their policy and procedure manual for special ed.

    If you need anymore info, please feel free to email me.

  29. Ani says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my prayers.

    Hugs to you.

  30. Kimberly says:

    School cut backs are so bad in Florida that my best friend is fighting for assistance for her 5th grade, wheelchair bound son with Muscular Dystrophy. He can’t even lift himself from his chair to go to the bathroom. The school seems to think he doesn’t need the help!

    Make sure to stand up for David. The state will give the school extra money to provide for him. Just make sure the school uses it for HIM!

    Does the school have a special needs Pre-K group?
    Ours does and they are only 3 and very small.

  31. Melody says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your Grandma’s passing, but I am so glad that you have the knowledge that you’ll see her again. Wouldn’t it be aweful to not have that knowledge and to think that our loved ones are gone forever?

    I like thinking that our loved ones are our gaurdian angels, and that they watch over us long after they are “gone”.

  32. Melody says:

    I also meant to mention that I can't really help with your situation because I homeschool. Sorry.

    Also, I have given you & your blog an award! Stop by my blog and pick it up! =)

  33. Michaelene says:

    I’m so sorry to read of your Grandmother’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you, not only during your time of grief, but also that you are able to find the perfect solution for David’s school days. I’m not a mother of a special needs child, but I am a mother to a school age boy and completely understand the need for safety during the school day, as well as the ability to participate without being looked over. I have every faith that you’ll find the perfect solution.

    Congratulations David, on your first day of school! That’s a huge accomplishment – you should be super proud of yourself.

    Hope you guys have had a great first week back to school! Happy Labor Day.

  34. Rachel says:

    Hi -

    I’ve been in in both special-ed classrooms and mainstreamed… and I have to say that my mother being unafraid to ask for what was best for me (and not backing down) was the difference between me being afraid, and me being successful.

    You’re his mother – you have the right (and the responsibility) to make this world as safe as you can for him. The school receives funding for David as a student; I hope they are able to meet your request for someone to keep him safe.

    I was one of the smaller kids too… it’s rough enough on the playground without worrying about the classroom.

    Please go with your instinct and don’t let up. You are the first and most important advocate for your little guy.

    Much love,
    Rachel

  35. Jeanne says:

    sorry for the loss of your grandmother.
    You ARE david’s number one advocate.
    You NEED to be that. you are His MOTHER!!!! Demand what you want and what you know he needs.
    Be a ROCKSTAR for DAVID!!!!!!
    As a Special Ed teacher, I would recommend he have a 1:1 , 1:1 aides are great for kids who need more help and can make sure that they get more help.

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