Bravo for Bravery!

Sienna has started second grade! I can’t believe how grown-up she looks. The year is off to a great start – she has a wonderful teacher and classmates (many repeat faces from 1st and Kindergarten that she was happy to see again!), and she was lucky enough to keep her same amazing aide from last year! And her same amazing school nurse!

As I think about my hopes and dreams for Sienna this year, they are for her to be happy and kind, and to continue to develop her independence, confidence and love of learning.

While much of the preparation for the school year actually happens during the previous winter (here), there are still a few things to be done in the fall. One of the most important is to talk to Sienna’s class about F.O.P. and classroom safety. The primary goal is for safety – for them to think twice before barreling into her. But I also want her classmates to know that while she is a little more delicate than them, she is just like them in every other way!

The weekend before school started, I sat down with Sienna to review an updated draft of the classroom talk. The intention was for either her school nurse or myself to give it to the class, and I wanted to ensure that she was ok with the content. It turns out that this year, Sienna had her own ideas! She rejected my draft and said she wanted to write it herself. So I happily turned over my keyboard and with only a little help finding keys when she got stuck, Sienna wrote this:

Hello my name is Sienna.

Many of you may know me already.

Just like no two snowflakes are alike, none of us are exactly alike.

I have some special care needs. I’m a little more delicate than the rest of you.

So I skip some activities that could be dangerous, like running or wild activities in gym.

I like to say that I’m allergic to bumps.

You can help keep me safe by:
· Giving me extra space when possible

· Don’t be too rough around me

At recess I do calmer activities like nature walks. I would welcome the opportunity to play with each of you!

It’s important for everybody to follow the school rules, especially my class – such as:
· no running in the classroom or halls

· clean up toys or tripping hazards on the floor

· Make sure chairs are always pushed in when possible

· Clean up any spilled water

I have an aide, Mrs. XX, who is here to keep me safe. Many of you may know her already!

I love animals.

I have a dog named Pepper. Pepper is a girl dog. Pepper loves to give me kisses.

I also socialize puppies for Guiding Eyes for the Blind in my spare time! The breeds are labs and german shepherds.

She didn’t mention F.O.P. by name. She didn’t think it was necessary and I think that’s ok.

This morning she got in front of her whole class and read this to them. I am so proud of her! She wrote the message she wanted and she delivered it herself! Independence goal? Check! My dreams for her year are already coming true. ❤

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