Thursday, January 28, 2010


I've been posting a lot of pictures lately, but not doing a lot of writing. I actually enjoy writing so I figured I'd give it a try today.

Things have been going fine at our house. We keep busy, which is good for the most part. The next few weeks will be more of the same, with a few special surprises thrown in that I'm looking forward to sharing soon.

For today, though, I feel like exploring Playette's Daycare Experience.

Someone asked me the other day about her classroom setting and how she relates to her peers. It's a very interesting topic, apparently, to people who don't have children with special needs. Those of us that do, well, sure, it's interesting, but it's also a major PITA sometimes because we're the ones working diligently behind-the-scenes to make our children's placement look effortless. There's a lot of thought and consideration put into trying to figure out where and when and who and why and, most of all, how.

Currently, Playette is "fully included" in a typical toddler room setting. Her peers are other 2-3 year-olds, most of whom do not have Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSPs). I think one other kid in there gets speech services, but I don't really have a need to know that information so no one has come out and told me that, which is fine by me. That tells me that they're not going out and telling other parents stuff about my kid either. And I like that.


In her classroom, Playette, well, she plays. She reads, she sings, she dances. She takes things down, she puts things up. She pretends and she communicates.

She goes into the room each day, takes off her coat (with some assistance), walks over to the sink, and washes her hands. That's what all of the children are required to do and she is no exception. This routine started back when she was in the baby room and we had to hold her above the sink and wash her hands for her. That was two years ago. Now, she turns the water on, pumps the soap foam into her hands from the container on the wall, rubs her hands together, rinses, pulls the lever on the towel dispenser, rips off what she needs, dries her hands, and throws away the used paper towel.


It only takes a minute to complete, but when you lay out all of the steps like that, it's hard not to feel proud.

One goal, I think, of having her where she is right now is to get certain things to become second-nature, to expend less effort on certain behaviors.

One day a few months ago (woo, time flies!), I was there in the classroom for lunch. I was able to witness how when the children were done eating, everyone got up with their plates, took them to the trash, dumped the waste items, put the plates in a bin, washed their hands, and went to lay down on their cots for a nap.


I mean. Wow.

I was so impressed. There was my little girl, doing the same things as everyone else. No hesitation and full of confidence.

Now, of course I realize that she still exhibits delays in her development. I know that now and always will. But I think there's something to be said for keeping expectations appropriately high. I mean, even with me, I notice that I sometimes get a little too excited about things she does. And when I stop to think about it, I realize that maybe I thought she wouldn't be able to do such things.


Me? Her mother? Underestimating her?

Well, shoot, I'm not perfect. Nor have I ever claimed to be. Enlightened by force, maybe, but I still have a long way to go. I get just as irritated with myself for such behaviors as I do with other people I meet, especially therapists and medical professionals.

But you know I have less grace with them, right? They should know better. Me? I'm just a newbie.

I just want my kid to be given chances to prove people wrong.

This girl is smart, y'all. Really.

She doesn't speak, but she signs more than I can understand. She picks things up quickly. She constantly has conversations through babbling that utilize inflection and even humor.

You gotta appreciate a two-year-old with a fake laugh.

More than anything she tries. Very hard.

And that's why me and my fellow parent peeps work equally as hard to give our kids the opportunities they deserve.

It's all about having options, y'know?

So, anyway, when you put Playette up against her classmates, what differences might an outsider notice?

- Well, she still wears a bib (hate!) because she's the only one still actively teething and, thus, is a drool monster, which doesn't work well when it's cold and her two shirts are soaked through. So, yeah, a bib. (that issue deserves its own post)

- She's tied for last place in the height department.

- She's a slower runner.

Aside from the bib thing? Well, that's pretty much me, too, so whatever.


Cate said...

so awesome, so true. seriously. I am so all about the high expectations. (And I totally catch myself having low expectations, and Abby sets me right.)

the fake stuff is great! I'm fond of the fake cough.

Lacia said...

I fall into the category of underestimating too. And Kaia proves me wrong every time. Maybe one day we'll learn?

As for the bib, my neice (typical, no dx) wore a bib until she was at least 3 years old. She HAD teeth (although they did come in late) and she still drooled like a leaky faucet. I'm talking MAJOR drool! So just because she's the only one in her class with a bib, not a big deal. There are many others out there in the same boat as she is. It just sucks that the automatic assumption from others is because of Ds, not because she just happens to be a drooler. That's the annoying part.

sheree said...

*raising hand*

yup...I underestimate as well. Dang.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this post! I can't wait to see Gabby doing all of those things that I know she WILL do eventually. Still, it's so exciting to think about!

jonashpdx said...

thanks for this. it's fantastic.

AZ Chapman said...

I love hearing about malea's pre school experince come vist my blog i gave y a award

ps i think we are not frinds on facebook anymore do u know what happen

Monica Crumley said...

Great post, Chrystal. I get overexcited at times, too, probably from underestimating JM's abilities. It's probably natural no matter your child's abilities, typical or non-typically developing... I think it's awesome that Malea is following directions and fitting right in. That's exciting to me! Oh, and JM has a funny fake cry. It's actually hilarious...

Michelle said...

don't feel bad on the underestimating thing - I think we all do it :) and it's wonderful when our kids prove us wrong so to speak!