While we are excited about Lola’s new “cool” as she calls it, we are sad to say goodbye to the Irvington United Methodist Church (IUMC) Preschool. Lola had been attending IUMC since September and it would be an understatement to say she just liked it, because she more than liked it…she loved it.
The enrollment was a sort of practice run for not only Lola, but also for Rob and me. We have always been Lola’s sole caretakers and we weren’t sure how she would do in a social setting such as school. We also knew the two teachers who would be heading up Lola’s class had never had a little girl quite like Lola – I mean, she is about the coolest child in the world. But all of those reservations soon changed as we saw how much our daughter thrived while being at IUMC. A little girl who once began her school day obsessed with the classroom stairs slowly emerged from her cocoon. Upon entering the classroom – in which she walked with assistance from the car directly to her room – she now sat near the kids or she would find her favorite teacher, Miss Maeve. It made my heart melt to witness her progress and the changes within her.
And while the teachers needed a few lessons on integrating a special needs child into the class, they were more than open to learning how to always include Lola. This is where Lola’s First Steps therapists played a key role in their classroom. Rather than Lola’s therapists continuing to come into our home, we asked they attend Lola’s school so they could not only teach Lola real life skills, but also so the teachers could learn about classroom integration. I’m amazed as to how willingly the teachers adapted and how quickly they tweaked certain aspects of their classroom. I was also profoundly moved by how much encouragement and support the entire IUMC staff showed our daughter. I couldn’t walk down a hall without someone coming up to me praising how far Lola had come. I can still remember the day Lola walked with my assistance into the school for the very first time. I tear up thinking back to the unbelievably heartfelt response from the staff and other parents. Lola wasn’t just attending a school, she became part of a community and, by default, so did we.
Thank you IUMC for taking such good care of our Lola. We will truly miss you!