Its hard to have a kid, any kid, at school when you work full time, with limited flexibility, in a different state. I struggle with feeling I'm not involved enough with Ryan's therapists and teacher as I'm not there to pick him up or drop him off. Impromptu talks about how hes doing, in the corridor, at the end of the day are unheard of. So I scheduled a meeting with his teacher to see how things are going, as hes been at school now over 6 months. Ohh, the torture of it! A meeting with any professional to discuss Ryan's "progress" always ups the anxiety level with me but I tried to pull myself together and remembered that I had called this meeting, basically to just get an idea of what hes doing well in, what hes struggling with and what i can do at home to help him.
I must admit Ryan has the best teacher ever. Shes easy to talk to, so positive and has a genuine love for her kids. On a whole Ryan's doing very well in her classroom. He loves playing with the other kids and is highly social. The classroom is small and has 7 kids and on any given day nearly as many adults so its pretty cramped. Ryan struggles with performing what he knows in the group setting but she can see a totally different child in a one on one setting in a quiet room. I think under that easy going exterior hes quite a sensitive, sensory aware little boy, and noise and distraction has always shut him down. One of the reasons we had to pull him out of daycare as he just slept the whole day due to over stimulation. Even as a young baby he performed much better on a one to one level. I was surprised to hear that his actually preschool knowledge is pretty close to typical (sorry have to say this one more time, these words came out of the mouth of an educator "pretty close to TYPICAL!!!" ) when working alone with his therapists, and he shows great strengths in matching, identifying etc etc. The struggle with Ryan is how to draw that knowledge from him in the "real" world and enhance his communication so he can show off his skills. Hes also still struggling with transitions pretty significantly and hes highly sensitive to noise, and disorder, yes we still hate with a passion anyone knocking down the blocks or taking the pieces out of a puzzle. They play "football" in adaptive PE and "tackle" the bollards. Miss E was telling me how Ryan crys when he sees the bollards being brought out as he knows someone is going to knock them down. Hes ok if you explain to him that there is no knocking them down today. My quirky boy. My homework is to work with him on more sensory type activities.
We talked in great length about ipad apps for communication and what they were using in the classroom that i can be insync with at home. She did say that hes responding very accurately and appropriately in circle time using his switch etc so that really made my heart swell that he was making some gains in the communication area. Rock on little man, I know you have so much to say, we just have to find a way to help you say it!
Miss E was also greatly concerned with Ryan's demeanor since he had the double pneumonia in December. She said hes really not back to being the same kid, hes very upset at activities he used to enjoy, exhibits alot of crying, and alot of fatigue. He also not eating as well and is showing alot of reflux. We are seeing the same changes at home, and I need to discuss this with his pediatrician to see if we can figure out whats going on.
I had the opportunity this weekend to meet with the mum of one of the little girls at Ryan's school from our town. She rides the bus with Ryan. Her mum wrote a book about her experiences with her daughter from her older sons point of view. Cute book that is available at Amazon.