FECS told us about the Early Childhood Development Unit and that Jess would be eligible to go to the playgroup. We were taking Jess to the playground at church but thought it would be a good idea to have her where she could be monitored more closely by people who had experienced Down syndrome.
I contacted the Unit. It was part of the school I taught at but on a different campus. So I knew the HOSE who was enthusiastic. We had to fill out paperwork and provide evidence that Jess had Down syndrome.
We arrived at the school, went through all the fences with locked gates and signed in at the office.
We went to the building where the playgroup was...more fences and locked gates.
The HOSE and teacher aid were welcoming...but I felt like a fish out of water. I think I just sat there and watched the other babies/toddlers....I felt like a deer caught in headlights.
I walked out feeling slightly numb.
Over time it became easier to go and again I gained acceptance of the situation. Jess was in the best place to get the help she needed.
I have formed valuable friendships with other mums who were there, and with the teachers/aids, which still exist today. It ended up being a good place to be.
My circle was widening.
© 2012 by Jenny Woolsey
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