Claire Wiegand's Story: 1997 - 1998
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Another year, another elementary school, and this time it was Cumberland Road Elementary. Including College Wood Elementary, where Claire attended summer enrichment programs for three summers, Claire had been enrolled in six elementary schools by the age of eight. If you add Mohawk Trails Elementary, which is where Claire's sister, Jill, attended school, you can see that we were becoming familiar with ALL of the local elementary schools!
Claire's bus ride to and from school took 30 - 45 minutes, but Claire didn't mind because she loves riding the bus. Sometimes we had to coax her to get off the bus at school and at home! Claire's stepfather and I arranged our work schedules to alternate coming home early to get her off the bus. Claire's dad gets her on the bus every morning, so her stepfather and I can get to work early.
Claire had two wonderful teachers, Mrs. Etter and Mrs. Edwards, and both were great with Claire. Mrs. Etter was her Life Skills teacher, and Mrs. Edwards was her regular second grade teacher. Claire spent most of her day in Mrs. Etter's Life Skill class for children with severe-to-profound mental disabilities, but was partially integrated into a class with her normally developing second grade peers for art, music and computer classes. Her regular second grade peers were very accepting and protective of her, and she made great progress in her Life Skills class, learning to take off her coat, carry her backpack and zip and unzip her coat zipper.
Copyright © Deborah Schilling