Monday, May 2, 2011
We Go To School
For a short time, Little Dude insisted that he wanted to go home. Obviously, I found the Lego bin immediately. He still wanted to go home. I said, "well, I'm going to play with the Legos. Oooh, look. Lego cars. And Lego animals!"
OMG Lego animals? Are you kidding me? They have a whole set of Lego zoo animals and Lego farm animals. And Lego cars and Lego police helicopters and even a Lego recycling pick-up truck. It's amazing. And it's especially amazing for me because seeing him play with something that is not Star Wars-related is so refreshing I want to cry.
Once I got him playing with the Legos, he was pretty much fine.
We also did some puzzles. Another boy came over to help, which Little Dude was clearly not down with. However, I was impressed: Little Dude sat there motionless, expressionless, and waited until the boy was done "helping." He did not freak out. He did not cry. He did not smack the puzzle pieces out of the boy's hands. Instead, he waited. When the boy was done putting the puzzle together, Little Dude said evenly, "Now I will do it over." He took it apart and re-did it. Awesome, right?
Yeah ... it's amazing what you start to see as awesome.
We go back tomorrow. It's only three mornings a week. On one other morning a week, I help out at the elementary school library during the Pork Lo Maniac's library time. Little Dude sits at a table there and looks at books, or follows his sister around the library. He helps me re-shelve the books.
Here's what I've learned: observing your own child in a school environment is absolutely invaluable to parents of special needs children. Yes, I know lots of kids are different at home than they are at school. Yes, I know that his behavior is probably different when I'm there than when I'm not there. Yes, I know that schools can't have parents traipsing in and disrupting classes constantly.
It's giving me tremendous insight into what his school-environment triggers are going to be in Kindergarten. We haven't had his Kindergarten IEP meeting yet, so believe me, I'm taking notes and I'll be bringing my suggestions to the meeting.
For example, while Little Dude may not qualify for Physical Therapy because he can go up and down stairs, I now know that he will not go up and down stairs when there are other kids on them. He just stops, clutching the railing, patiently waiting for the stream of children to go past. Fine, it's not a physical therapy problem. But it's something. Sensory? Anxiety? I don't know. But I know for sure that it's going to be a huge problem for his Kindergarten teacher.