The Prieto Family’s Journey: Birth to 3



Preschool

Gabby started her Marvin Marshall Head Start Preschool when she was two months before turning three. I was the type of parent that was very nervous about her going to school. I…I never thought I would be sending my three year old to preschool, let alone my child with disabilities, so I was pretty nervous to let go of some control over having her in my life day-to-day. But that preschool was such a perfect match. And again I think that went back to Jamie knowing us so well and knowing what we wanted for Gabby that he recommended this preschool. The first time we visited, we loved it, Gabby loved it, jumped right in, just became a part of that class and their very nurturing and loving environment there. And they do signs with her and they do picture icons with her day-to-day to help her communicate and help her pick her choices. It’s just a really good match for her.

The day we visited, I never realized that there were any other children with disabilities in that classroom. The way they worked their curriculum into meeting all these children’s goals was really great. Nothing stood out like, oh, they’re working on this to help this child. It was just so part of their day–to-day routine and that’s what I loved about it.

We adapted our IFSP so that Jamie now did his home visits at Gabby’s school. It was so wonderful to know that he was there to give us a full report. I loved reading the notes he left for me in her backpack about how she was doing. This was a constant reassurance to me. He also worked on a communication board that Gabby uses to pick her work time activities. We still have friends that are surprised that Gabby is in a regular preschool, and my response back is “Why wouldn’t she be?”