The most amazing thing continues to be that two different teachers (the first one's schedule changed) have willingly and gladly given him lessons, and it's been no big deal.
I didn't have to sit down with either of them and have a long discussion about Max's abilities. Neither asked, before they met him, if there was anything to know about Max or the cerebral palsy. From the get-go, the person who owns the school has been open-minded about having Max, and she obviously has like-minded people on her team.
Max eagerly dashes into the school for every lesson. He walks up and down the hall, thrilled with the clickity-clack of his tap shoes. He kicks me out of the room before the lesson starts, only allowing me in at the end. Miss J. teaches him. Max enjoys her company, and it seems mutual.
Part of me still can't believe it's been this easy. Each time I walk into the dance school, I half-expect someone to hand over a bunch of forms I have to sign, or tell me that this isn't working out.
I have PASD (Post Accommodation Stress Disorder). And by that I mean, if you are the parent of a child with special needs, then you know all too well the battles you must fight for accommodations big and small—and how this makes you always expect a struggle. Even when there are no real adaptations or allowances that need to be made, you face polite excuses and resistance: Oh, we've never taught a child with special needs. We don't have the training/insurance/equipment/resources for that. I am not sure we can handle it, but we appreciate your interest.
The biggest accommodation people need to make when it comes to including children with special needs in activities lies in their minds: They have to open them up. Every week, I'm reminded of this when I walk into the room at the end of the lesson and see Miss J. coaching Max along: "Hands up! Turn! Stomp! Do it by yourself! Good job!"
She's just teaching him the moves, like any teacher anywhere showing a boy how to tap dance.