On a daily basis, I don't compare Hailey to anyone else. I know how far she has come and I see her progression. Yes, some of it is frustrating, but we are constantly moving forward...even if it is slowly. I was apprehensive about being in her class because then I start comparing. I will see her with the typical children in her class. I will see how far behind she is. Sometimes, even though you know in your heart that it is expected, it still hurts. When I walked in, Hailey was in the dramatic play center...actually, she was 3 feet from the open classroom door. That day dramatic play was cars and blocks. Her teacher announced it was time to switch centers. She listed the 3 children in that center and said it was time to clean up. Without another reminder, Hailey cleaned up. Wow...wait a minute! First off, my daughter was playing beside an open classroom door. Not once did she try to run or leave. That in itself is a huge improvement from previous years! Secondly, Hailey cleaned up every item without a single reminder...her teacher only said "clean up". That in itself was crazy! Where did Hailey go? Who is this child?
Next, they sat in a circle and discussed a story. Hailey was exactly where she should be and followed all instruction. Next it was time for snack. This is what shocked me. Hailey had snack set up that week. Her teacher said, "Hailey, time to set up for snack".
|Hailey walked to the shelves and lifted this big bin of water bottles.|
|She placed a placemat at each chair|
|Added a string cheese to each placemat|
|Added a water bottle|
|Followed by a straw for each child|
This may not seem like anything major for a typical child, but Hailey set up snack for each child in class without any prompting. She was 100% independent. She knew what the job was and knew it was her responsibility. Hailey did her job like any other child in her class. It brought tears to my eyes to see her step it up, but it also made me realize that I'm not letting her be as independent at home as I should nor am I expecting as much from her as I should.
After snack, they headed to recess and I watched her play with a friend from another class who happens to have Down syndrome. I loved watching them together, even if my daughter was a little on the bossy side....
Unfortunately, Hailey did try to run off from the playground, but she has only done it the one day I was there. Hmmm...I guess mom was the problem :-)
Last night I had my parent teacher conference for Hailey. It made me so happy to hear so many of the struggles we have had the past two years don't exist anymore. Hailey seems to really be thriving in the older class with kids that are going to kindergarten next year. She's stepping up her game to keep up with them. Yes, she is still delayed in fine motor, gross motor and speech, but academically she is trying so hard to impress her teacher. I love having a staff that sees her as a sassy little girl that has a great deal of potential and not a little girl with Down syndrome. They want to see her succeed as much as her family does. It scares me to move out of preschool in May, but we will worry about that later. Right now, we are going to enjoy our little girl rocking preschool and see what she can achieve. Now, mom needs to see what more we can have her do at home. I think the baby of the family might be getting babied a little bit!
|At the end of class, Hailey told me bye. She wouldn't go home with me...she wanted to ride the bus!|