Abby · Down syndrome

Abby’s first day of school.

Abby's First Day of Special Education Preschool

Today was Abby’s first day of preschool. Her third birthday is tomorrow, so she transitioned out of Early Intervention to the school district for preschool. It’s a little surreal having all of my children in school now. I didn’t think it would happen this fast. For children with special needs, getting a lot of extra help early as their brains are still developing goes a long way. I didn’t love sending Casey off to school at three, and honestly, I’m not in love with sending Abby off. I didn’t sleep at all last night. I kept thinking, “She’s so tiny!” and “She’s too young for school…I can’t do this. I can’t put her on a bus!” It was all of the same things I thought with Casey.

There was a Hey Crazy Ladytwinge of heartache as the little bus pulled up my driveway. Again. We’re doing this all over again. I remember putting Casey on the little bus when he was three all too clearly. Every day for a month he’d scream and yell as I buckled him in. He’d cry and pound on the window as the bus drove away. I’d cry as they drove away. It was the only way. We tried driving him to school, but the half-hour rage would happen there instead of on the bus.

Today we drove Abby, but I took the chance to meet the bus driver when they mistakenly came to get Abby.  The bus driver and the aide were as cute as they could be and were genuinely excited to meet Abby. That put me at ease a little.  The boys made this morning a celebration for Abby. I was talking about it and Peyton said, “Abby’s going to school today? This is exciting!” They all hugged her as we left and congratulated her on going to school.

Everything went perfectly at school. I stayed for too long hoping that Abby would get a little clingy, but that’s not her style. I was having a harder time separating than she was. I went to kiss her goodbye and she did her deep sigh of “commmeeee onnn, Mom” and brushed me away.

Mostly True Stuff

She seemed to enjoy the bus ride home. The aide said that she growled at her most of the way. That’s my girl.


Just now I heard Casey talking to Abby in the other room. Their conversation went like this:

How was your day at school?

Aaahhheeeyahhhhh (the fact that she vocalizes back to Casey is a big deal. Abby’s pretty quiet most of the time)

So I guess it was good?


Not good? Was it because you couldn’t hear your teacher? What’s your teacher’s name Abby? Right. You can’t talk. Probably wasn’t good because you can’t draw good either.

(That last part was a nod to what happened last night: )

toddlers are jerks


Casey heard me laughing, and asked why. I think about how far he’s come since that first bus ride. I think about how far I’ve come from being that girl who stood barefoot in her driveway, sobbing as her son’s bus pulled away.  I think about the relationship Casey has with Abby and how lucky we are to have both autism and Down syndrome in our home. I’m grateful that the twinge of sadness today as the bus pulled in was only a twinge. I’m grateful to be as prepared as one can be for another round of specshe is fierceial education.

My worries about her being so tiny were unfounded. This quote applies:

Like everything else that comes at her, Abby rocked it.  I love this last picture so much because it shows her sass, and also because I think she looks SO MUCH like me.

rocking preschool

22 thoughts on “Abby’s first day of school.

  1. What an awesome first day! That was so considerate of Abby to make a mural for you so you wouldn’t miss her as much today. 😉

  2. Such a great post and one close to my heart. My boys are now five and six, but both started school at three and therapy while babies. Now, while their peers have summer, they continue intensive 9-4 therapy, but it is what it is!

  3. I HATED putting them on the bus when they turned 3. HATED. IT. I was a stay-at-home-parent for a reason. i cried for weeks.

    She’ll rock that joint. Actually, she’ll OWN that joint!

  4. I read it and didn’t cry! Loved it,made me reflect back on how far Cullen and I have come as well. That Abby has sass for sure and she looks just like you in that last pic.

  5. I can totally relate to this. I was a blubbering mess. Snot everywhere. Madeline and Natalie just went to class like they had done it their whole lives. That was rather anticlimactic for me. Every now and again you’ll find my lip quivering after they get on the bus. And then I go take a nap.

  6. “Abby! Yay Abby!” Ryan loves her pictures, especially since I told him that her name really is Abby. Also I think it is fabulous that she growled at the aide.

  7. To get her to talk trying making flashcards with pictures of everything and try and get her to say each word and reward her if she tries to say it… it helped my son alot. They can talk but it takes alot of repetition… to teach him the days of the week we sang the Happy Days song over and over and over for hours each day. It was a goal he had for school…

  8. Congrats to Abby! I’m glad this was a happy thing for your family. I loved reading about the convo between Casey and Abby. So cute.

  9. I love the captions on the pictures. She’s adorable, and she’s going to own that school if she didn’t in the first hour.

  10. I love that Casey talked to her about her day. That is so awesome! Wow. Great post, and I am glad the first day went off without a hitch!

  11. I’m so glad she rocked it! Isn’t it nice when our kids aren’t afraid and want to try new things? I was in tears the first time I put my son on the bus. He screamed don’t let the man take me mommy! Thanks kid. But it got better and now he loves school.

  12. I am supposed to be sending my little guy (3) off to Pre-K on Monday. He is Autistic, and completely non-verbal. He has never stayed with anyone but Hubs, me, or our older daughter. I am beyond terrified to let him go into the classroom with someone he doesn’t know, terrified about what could happen at school that he wouldn’t be able to tell me about, terrified of it all. It has been torture the past 6 months or so, trying to decide if this is the best choice for him after Early Intervention. Still don’t know if it is. I guess we just have to take the leap and hope for the best. However, that may require more strength that I have and a whole lot of tissues.

    PS-Love the blog

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