Don’t Blink! A Cotting Parent Connects Blog
It was only yesterday that Lucas arrived for his first day as a Cotting School student. We had heard about Cotting when Lucas was about 8 years old. We knew the program at Cotting aligned with what Lucas needed in order to reach his full potential. The day we got the letter saying Lucas would be attending Cotting School was one of the happiest days of our lives! We still have the letter and look at it every now and then. It still holds the same joy we felt on the day we received it.
Going forward, we have been thinking about what brings Lucas joy and where he will be most successful after graduation. One of Lucas’ favorite things is construction and watching This Old House. At school Mr. Phelan’s Industrial Arts class is by far Lucas’ favorite. When it was discovered that Lucas really enjoyed IA, Mr. Phelan and Lucas’ teachers made sure that this was part of his schedule throughout the year. Mr. Phelan has seen Lucas’ confidence grow over the years. In IA, Lucas has learned to help others, be patient and accept that sometimes we make mistakes but move on. Being Mr. Phelan’s “Assistant” has helped carve out Lucas’ vision for his future.
Talking about Senior year and graduation, early on, has given us the peace of mind that we didn’t rush into a decision. We discussed being a big man on campus, Senior meetings, Senior trip, graduation day, etc. We also talked about Moira Rose and Sean (Lucas’ older siblings) and how they both graduated and moved on to their next adventure, with Sean moving to Ireland and Rosie owning a Country Store. We talk about how they both work and the different jobs they have.
I would tell other parents: start early when it comes to preparing for graduation and beyond. We started in the spring of last year working off a Person Centered Plan, and as a family talked about where we thought Lucas would fit best. We also met with a DDS (Department of Developmental Services) transition coordinator in late spring to discuss other options. We wanted everyone to be able to celebrate Lucas’ Senior year knowing that upon graduation and turning 22 he had a direction and a place to go. Sometimes the direction you think you are heading is not where you end up. I would suggest being open-minded when looking at different programs and asking a lot of questions.
As a family we are preparing for Lucas’ Senior year just as we prepared for his first year at Cotting, with joy and a positive outlook. Senior year is a time to celebrate all of the accomplishments that have been made throughout the years and to plan for next steps. We know Lucas will be happy in his next adventure and we will enjoy his Senior year. We are very proud of him. Positive attitude = positive outcome!
I am tearing up writing this because I know that the love, caring, and compassion from family, friends, teachers and staff at Cotting School have prepared Lucas for his next step…graduation, June 5, 2020! We are ready to celebrate!
Moira Mahegan, Mother to Lucas, Cotting Class of 2020