Since both Joy and I work, John has always been babysat by a friend in her home. Recently though, our babysitter has started taking her son a couple of days a week to a church sponsored daycare here in town. Joy and I had expressed some interest in startin John in a daycare program but wasn't really sure if we wanted to send him to a special needs program or not.
We agreed to send him to the daycare where our babysitters' little boy goes, not really knowing how John would respond but with hopes that John would adjust well. And the adjustment has gone very well. The other children in the daycare have responded well to John and he has learned so much from them.
He lines up with the others and has learned to wash his hands under the sink and sits in his little chair at the lunch table very calmly and eats his packed lunch. To our surprise, he has even learned to go and get his pillow from the closet and take a nap with the others after lunch without being coaxed.
We are thankful that John has adjusted so well to his new surroundings, to the other children and they to him. I realize that each Ds child is different and face different needs but integrating our children with society often times challenges them to learn new skills.
Taking a step like this may be scary for parents of children with Ds as we weigh all of the pros and cons of whether or not to keep them with their counterparts. But we have had a great experience with this step. My advice is to know your daycare and staff. Know your childs schedule at the daycare and try to work with your child on the same skills as the daycare is asking of them.