I've been putting off writing this post now for over a month.
Maybe it's because putting it off delays the inevitable. But I guess I can't hide the truth any more.
Kaitlyn will be riding the short bus to school soon. Now I don't mean this as derogatory or anything. It's funny, our community school district has these smaller busses that take kids to and from special needs school and it wasn't until recently that I actually realized that these were the "short bus" that are so crudely spoken of by others when "jesting" about special needs children.
My daughter is a special needs child.
As she gets older and I compare her to other 3 years olds it's been slowly more and more obvious to me how delayed she is.
Let me back up a bit.
A number of weeks ago I asked the teacher for one of Kaitlyn's new Pragmatic Speech programs if she had some time as I'd like to talk to her now that Kaitlyn had been in her class for a month. She actually said to me that she'd been wanting to meet with me also.
Briefly, she indicated that there was a lot more going on with Kaitlyn than was orignally diagnosed by the district. She tested so well in a quiet one-on-one environemnt, but after a month of watching her, the teacher noted many delays in many areas.
- Gross Motor delays
- Fine Motor delays
- Flirting from object to object/inability to be still
- Not looking at eyes
- Gets super wound up if the envromnent is hectic (this is probably the HARDEST of all the issues to deal with)
- Prefers adults to her peers/doesn't interact with other children
- Shutter-steps her feet
- Repeating words over and over even though she has ability to speak sentences
- Hyper focusing on objects for long periods of time
- High pain tolerance
- Seeks out stimulation from objects (ie rolling on floor, couches)/ flops
The teacher said "I know Kaitlyn is really bright and excels in a lot of areas, but her delays do not allow her to show how smart she is".
Strangely, I felt some happiness as I felt validated finally that my "gut feelings" that I've been writing about weren't off. But I also felt really sad that I wasn't just being a "worry-wort" parent.
After I left, my mood totally tanked. No more happiness. Here are some of my feeling-sorry-for-myself rantings, but once again, I felt like my daughter was never going to be able to escape the horrible affects from her extreme prematurity. From my having an amnio. Yes, there's that fact. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't carry this horrible guilt with me. But I look at that event as "THE EVENT". My daughters are forever paying the price of that event.
I shouldn't be complaining. She is so much better off than other micro preemies I know. She's so much better off than so many of my new (new since my life changed forever) friend's disabled children.
But, damn it, I feel sorry for her and I feel sorry for myself. This sucks.
The teacher felt that Kaitlyn would do much better in a developmental preschool 5 days a week and that she should no longer be in main-stream preschool. I asked if she couldn't just go to her regular school 1 day a week. The teacher really indicated that the best way for Kaitlyn to improve would be consistency, 5 days a week with the same children, same teachers, who were really focused on her delays.
I know that the 2 day a week 1.5 hour speach programatic proram that she's in now is really good for her. My instict told me that this teacher was right on. She told met hat she's known in the district for doing a really good job of assessing children to help them get the care they need.
Yes, I'm happy that these issues are going to be addressed now. I feel very fortunate that I"m we are in an excellent school district with goals of helping our children enter main stream school at some point. This wasmy goal all along - to get her the help now as she's still young. But I'm still sad.
I was so sad to tell my preschool. This morning when I dropped her off I felt sad again. I really like my community preschool. I've bonded with a lot of moms there. (one has a special needs son who I've become really close with). Now my daughter will be riding the short bus.