Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The School Sitch

Since folks asked, here's the deal:

First, some background.

Playette has been attending the same daycare since she was almost 7 months old. There was a lot of guilt on my end after she was born and we learned her diagnosis and one of the things that really tore me up inside was that she was an only child. I was envious of people who had older children at home that could serve as peer models for their little ones with Ds.

Before I had her, I always thought that I would be a SAHM once the baby came. I mean, I thought this for a long time. Way before I even met BD. We talked about it while we were dating. We developed a plan. We saved my salary for months just to make sure that we could live off of one income.

And then we got a surprise.

All of the sudden, I no longer felt confident that I could give this baby, one that I perceived in the beginning would need some much more than I could give, enough to reach her full potential all on my own.

Now, keep in mind that I was an emotional wreck for the first year of Playette's life and take my thoughts back then with a honking grain of salt, k? I have no doubts, knowing what I know now, that any functional stay-at-home parent can provide what is necessary to care for a child with Ds.

I mean, if you're good enough for a 46er, you're good enough for a 47er. Contrary to popular belief, a lot of us parents of children with special needs aren't any more extraordinary than any other parent. It's just the way the dice rolled and you do what you have to do when you have to do it.


All that led up to her starting in daycare shortly after we moved to CA from VA and me heading back to work not too long thereafter.

Since then, she's moved from room to room, advancing more or less with her typically developing peers and there hasn't ever been the negative experience that I held my breath and agonized over in her earliest days there. It's been pretty uneventful in the grand scheme of things. We have the same types of issues with the daycare that other parents do, it seems. We're not special-special.

I mean, even when Playette wasn't walking and it was recommended to us that she move into the Pre-Toddler room, it was me who hesitated. How could she survive? She'd be trampled! All the other parents would immediately know that something was different about her! All of the other children were walking and she was still crawling! Yes, this is when all the bad stuff would start. Surely.

But, no.

What happened was that the other kids helped her stand. They hugged her and tried to walk with her. They supported her in ways that they didn't even realize were support. They just wanted to play with her because she was their friend.

And then, in her own time, probably in part due to their encouragement and definitely in part due to her determination, she walked. Earlier than we ever expected, even.

So, based on our past experiences and our vision for the future, we have decided to enroll Playette in a public preschool program. She'll go for three hours every morning and participate in a class that provides extra help to children with speech and language delays. Because that's her most significant delay at the moment: speech and language. It'll be a small relatively group and they'll do all the typical preschool things, but they'll also be able to dedicate time and attention to all of her IEP goals since ST, PT, and OT will all be conducted on-site.

In the afternoons, just in time for lunch, she'll return to her friends in the Toddler room at daycare and there she'll remain until I come and pick her up. She'll play on the same playground, she'll sleep on the same cot, she'll enjoy the same snacks that she has been for a while now.

And, then, when she's ready, if that time comes before our time in this town is up, we'll move her to the Preschool room at the daycare.

It's just a lot of transition for such a little girl, so we'll watch her and make sure not to make any additional changes until the time is right.

I have faith that she'll let us know.


Carrie said...

You're such an amazing parent and she is so luck to have both of you every step of the way!

Way to go, watch out preschoolers!

Peaches323 said...

*Sniffle* *Sniffle* My Malea is growing up. She is getting ready for her little brother or sister so she can show them the ropes :)

Karly said...

Love that preschool set up. Sounds a lot like what my small peep does (minus the extra fun daycare time, which she would be all over). Our plans changed with the 47 as well, but I think it was a blessing in disguise, as I am a better mom with a part-time office gig. And preschool is way better at the messy art project deal. WAY better. ;)

Dwight said...

@Peaches323 don't make me come find you lady...

AZ Chapman said...

The preschool you talk about reminds me of the one I did when I was three I will be talking about those days on my blog sooon come and visit

Michelle said...

sounds like you're making a great decision on the school situation and I'm sure she's going to love it there and continue to thrive!

Cole said...

This is wonderful to read! I needed this perspective.We've been worried about Abby getting run over at daycare of late and it's good to see an example of why it's ok to have a little faith in her little friends.