Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Preschool orientation

Last night, Emily and I went to her preschool orientation. To say I am stressed out about her starting preschool would be a huge understatement, but I do also think it will be good for her to be with her peers. She won't even actually be with her peers, as we're putting her in a 3-year-old class and she'll be turning 4 in a few weeks, but due to her size and motor delays we didn't feel good about putting her in a 4-year-old class.

I have two major concerns with her going to preschool.

One: after discussions with the director (who we know very well), she thinks it would be best to put Emily in the upstairs 3-year-old room...the potty trained room. Except, well, we're not completely convinced that Emily is potty trained! But she can go to the bathroom independently, she does ask to go to the bathroom, and she does have control over her bladder and can stay dry through naps. The director thinks she is close enough and will do well in a room where all of the other kids are potty trained. So I'll be sending 3 or 4 clothing changes with her instead of the usual 1 or 2. ;) If it becomes apparent that she's just not potty trained enough, we'll send her to the downstairs (non-potty trained) 3-year-old room.

Two: She's still really affectionate with everyone. Sigh. She doesn't "mommy-shop" so I don't know if we really need to be as concerned about her attachment as we are. But I went ahead and put on her paperwork and stressed to her teacher that she is not to receive any physical affection at school. This includes hugs, kisses, sitting on laps, being held, etc. I explained to her teacher that we are working on teaching her that affection is for family, and that once she understands that we will be able to allow her to show affection to others. Her teacher was very supportive. Let's just hope she follows through with it.

Mrs. K (Emily's teacher) also knows some sign language so she is completely comfortable with Emily using sign. Right now Emily uses sign to supplement her language, so if she thinks you aren't understanding her when she voices she'll add in the signs.

I do think preschool will do wonders for Emily's social skills and motor development. I just keep reminding myself of that. :)


Missy said...

Bless your heart! I'll bet you ARE nervous! Understandable! Hopefully, the other kids will model appropriate affection toward her and she will see what is okay and what isn't okay in the "affection department". What I did with my 5 1/2 year old when she came home from Russia was make a posterboard with pictures of men (she had an issue with hugging strange men - I was single) that she could hug. We reviewed it and when she wanted to hug a man, I asked her if he was on the poster and she'd say "no" and it helped quite a lot!! Just an idea. :o)

Good luck, mom!!

his wife, their mama said...

WOW. I thought sending Ivie off to pre-school was emotionally difficult. I am glad that it seems you have good support at the school and I'll be praying for a great transition for Emily. I am eager to hear how she adjusts and what kind of progress she is able to make being around her peers. It's so great to read of your concern for her and for your advocacy on her behalf as well. Your strength is very encouraging to me!

The Flying Eagle said...

I'll be thinking of you guys! I am sure all will be well and if it isn;t well than you;ll fix it and it will a-ok :-) Don't be nervous!

The Flying Eagle said...

I'll be thinking of you guys! I am sure all will be well and if it isn;t well than you;ll fix it and it will a-ok :-) Don't be nervous!

Tami said...

I think Maddie and Emily were seperated at birth! They sound so much alike!!! :)
I know you know what to do...I just want to encourage you that WITH the school's cooperation it can work out. Maddie was EXACTLY where Emily was a year ago. Speech and language delay - using sign to supplement speech - highly affectionate although not mommy shopping anymore. A year later, after having a GREAT preschool experience, I can say Maddie is doing MUCH better with her attachment. She shys away from strangers, appropriately so. She still gives hugs, but most of the time its with people she knows. (We still try to restrict it) and obviously she's in the process of catching up with her peers. A second year of Kindergarten, I think, will do her a WORLD of good!
I would encourage you to really PUSH them to stick with the guidelines you've provided...and if necessary get them put in her IEP. It can be a skill they help her learn. Stranger danger and all of that.
I really struggled last year with sending Maddie to preschool because of the bonding issue. For me it just seemed too early, but I have to say it was a good decision for her. With your support Emily is going to do great too! ((hugs))