STOP! Hold the presses! What?!?!? You want me to do what? You want me to send my tiny, precious, just turned 3 year old with Down syndrome where? It feels like she is shark bait and you are going to dump her in a pool of starving great whites. Ok, yes, that might be a slight exaggeration, but it is how it feels. You go from comfortable and the feeling of "Ok...I've got this down pat" to "oh no" and the world of the unknown again. I've stayed home with Hailey for almost 3 years. I've been her main teacher (in addition to her family, friends and therapists). I've sheltered her from the world. Now you are telling me I have to let go of some of that control (yep, I'm type A..OCD). I start to worry. I get scared. I suddenly don't have the confidence that I had a year ago. I don't want to let my baby go. I want to always protect her.
That is where I'm at right now. We go Friday to find out if Hailey has qualified for services at our school district's preschool. The state of Ohio does not use the diagnosis of Down syndrome for automatic services at preschool. Stinks, but that is the way it is. A child has to be evaluated in three categories. We had her evaluated by a speech therapist, occupational therapist and physical therapists. According to our initial rough draft evaluation, Hailey does qualify for services. She will receive these three therapies during school. She will attend half days for 4 days a week. The staff seems extremely excited to have Hailey at the school. Then the following week (if she qualified), we will meet again to discuss her IEP (individualized education plan).
Mom isn't quite ready for Hailey to attend preschool...Dad is definitely not ready for her to go. Overall, I think Hailey is ready. She loves children. She loves to be engaged. She seems to love the staff there. I think she's bored with mom. I think it is time she learns from someone other than her mom. I guess it is time for her to get her feet wet in the real world. I am excited to see what she learns. I am excited how this adventure will shape her. I am sad though. It's my baby. I truly never gave preschool a thought three years ago. How can it be here already?!?!?
|Watching the snow fall|
|Fake smile and playing with her brother.|
|Apparently, Ian is funny!|
|She thought he was in her way so she "moved" him to where she wanted him to be.|
|Ready to watch Ian play basketball.|
|Hailey wasn't about to let the boys get a picture without her.|
|She loves her "buthers"|