A new kindergarten teacher has me worried about my son with Pompe

Communication and accommodations will be necessary for a smooth transition

Keara Engle avatar

by Keara Engle |

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My 5-year-old son, Cayden, will soon be getting a new kindergarten teacher. While this will be a big adjustment for all the children in his class, it will be a bit harder for Cayden, who has some special needs.

Cayden’s original teacher recently told us that she has accepted a new job at a school closer to her home. While I’m ecstatic for her, I’m also a bit nervous. She has done an amazing job with Cayden since the school year started. She welcomed him into her classroom with open arms and had no problem accommodating him. On top of that, her communication has been excellent. I absolutely love her and am sad to see her go.

Due to his infantile-onset Pompe disease, Cayden can’t walk and uses a wheelchair to get around. He also uses an iPad to help him communicate. Although he can speak, other people sometimes have trouble understanding him.

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Aside from these issues, Cayden also receives speech, physical, and occupational therapy at school. His teacher always made sure he didn’t miss too much of the curriculum when he was pulled out of the classroom to complete his therapy sessions. That’s one of the things I appreciated most about her.

While I have no doubt that the new teacher will be wonderful, I’m still worried. I know it’ll take her time to get used to my son. She’s coming into the classroom mid-semester and must quickly learn all the children’s routines, not just Cayden’s. At least with our original kindergarten teacher, we had some time prior to the start of the school year to talk and figure out accommodations.

My hope is that the new teacher and I can have a conversation, either in person or over the phone, around the time she starts. I want to give her the rundown on Cayden and prepare her for his needs. He’s the only kid in his entire school who uses a wheelchair. That would be a challenge for any teacher!

We will get over this hurdle, I’m sure. But I wish we didn’t have to face it at all. It means a lot to me that Cayden’s original teacher has been so accommodating. I only hope the new teacher will be just as great!

Note: Pompe Disease News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pompe Disease News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Pompe disease.


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