The Hailey Herald

The Hailey Herald

Friday, January 31, 2014

It's Official...Hailey's a Preschooler

When a woman is pregnant, other women (and people in general) love to comment on giving birth and raising children.  People feel compelled to share horror labor stories.  Not sure why.  As if being pregnant and raising a child isn't difficult enough.  The same goes for education for children with special needs.  From the time Hailey was born, I've had people tell me horror stories about teaching teams and IEP meetings.  It scares you.  Fortunately, our experience this year (yes, I know, it's only preschool) wasn't like that.  Everyone seems to be on the same page and it appears we have reached an agreement as to what we would like Hailey's preschool education to look like.  Yes, I used "seems" which seems quite wishy-washy.  Frankly it is because we don't know how Hailey will react to preschool.  We don't know how she will learn.  We have no clue.  We know how she learns and reacts to her home setting, but preschool is a whole new ballgame.

I know some people don't understand why Hailey starting preschool at 3 is such a big deal.  First off, she's my baby.  Yes, I was nervous when both boys started and they started at 4 years and the other at 3 years and 3 months.  For the record, I cried when they both started school as well.  Secondly, it is difficult to give up the control of her learning and her environment.  I'm trusting people I don't know to do what's in the best interest of my child.  This is a huge milestone for Hailey.  I'm going to be honest, there was a time when we weren't even sure Hailey would live to see her 6 month birthday...I couldn't even think about her 3rd birthday!  Lastly, when most children start preschool, they are verbal.  When you drop them off at school, they know you are going to come back for them.  When you pick them up from school, you know they can tell you about their day.  They played with such and such on the slide.  They learned about the color "x".  They read a story about "y".  They had a snack of "z".  I don't have that.  I have a child who to the outside world is nonverbal.  I have a child who can't tell me if she had a good day.  She can't tell me that she colored a rainbow.  She can't tell me that little Susie sat beside her.  Now, think about how hard it would be to drop off your 3 year old at preschool.

Even though we are making a leap of faith with preschool, I still believe it is a good decision.  I think Hailey will love school and I think she will flourish.  I think she will enjoy the interaction with children her age and I think she will enjoy the break from mom. 

If you doubt any of the above, check out Hailey's pictures below.  We had wrapped up our meeting when the class arrived.  As the kids walked into class, Hailey waved and said "hi".  The children hung up their coats and started sitting at the tables.  Little miss followed suit.  She grabbed a chalkboard, started drawing and erasing.  She was content...she was happy.  No one batted an eyelash.  I'm not even sure the kids noticed her not belonging to the class with the exception of the little boy whose seat she had stolen!

Wish this wasn't so blurry.  She was having a ball!

After a burrito bowl for lunch, the excitement got the best of her.

Within two hours, I received my first email from Hailey's new teacher.  Seems absolutely crazy!


  1. Woo hoo! Hail to the big, bad preschooler! I had (and sometimes still do) all the same reservations you have. She is going to have a blast there and she will be loved by everyone. Wild horses couldn't keep Owen away from school now and if I tell him it's canceled, he has the biggest fit ever.

  2. Sleeping Hailey!!!!! First off, that is a really good sign that she felt comfortable enough in the class to just join in :) I think that she is going to do well. Second, I get the who scariness of sending your 3 yo with SN off to school. The nonverbal thing is a game changer!

    1. You do realize I take sleeping pictures just for you, don't you? She was in her zone today. She jabbered nonstop to the speech therapist while I finished the meeting. In my head, I know she will be fine, but my heart is having a hard time with it.

  3. Haha, love the picture of her passed out on the floor. Obviously I can relate to everything you wrote here. I am scared to send my son to school because he won't be able to tell me about his day or anything that happened. And even though he is four, he still seems so much more like he is two. So...I have mixed feelings on it so far.
    Can't wait to hear more about Hailey and how she does in preschool! Glad the IEP meeting went smoothly.