Saturday, June 6, 2009

Summer Help

Right before school got out, our main PT suggested I find summer placement for E. I could barely function--I was up to my multitasking LIMIT, I couldn't think about putting E in summer school. Besides...I wanted her summer to feel "different" than the school year (even though she had a GREAT time at school). I was worried if I got her in a school (vacation Bible school, Summer Day care, Day camp, community classes) she'd have problems with being isolated despite being in a group of people. She wouldn't know the terrain, and the teachers might not be able to see to her needs while there were 20 other toddlers running around. Once, in school, all the kids were drawing at a table before breakfast. Once food was ready, EVERYONE LEFT. The teachers were tending to the kids (they did need to eat), but E was left there--b/c she couldn't get out of her chair by herself (the table was very high, and the chair didn't have a step at the bottom. I was heartbroken. Granted, the teachers were very in tune with E, and she was happy coloring, and she did get to the breakfast table later. But what would happen with a room with less teachers per student--and those teachers NOT having any experience with special needs?

E's PT suggested a "shadow". Someone who would be there for E physically, while giving her the best opportunity to interact with her peers. Great idea! Now I had to FIND ONE! Oh, and find activities.

After some searching, I was directed to a very nice junior in high school. She came over to meet E--E was DELIGHTED--and SW started learning pretty quick how E moves/falls/etc. There wasn't that much time to prep SW before E's courses started--I picked a Music and Movement class and a beginning Ballet/Tap class (E LOVES girly-dancy-tutu wearing activities). (I could have picked some more artsy-sit-down classes, but we do enough art at home.) I had checked with the program director and warned the teachers of our situation prior to the class. So far, so good. No major falls!

In addition to the classes, SW helps E at the local library twice a week for fun activities, and this week also took her to the pool. I confess, I'm a little jealous-but this seems to be a very good situation--I get to work, E gets to play, and E's little sister Vivian gets some attention too. It's a little heavy on the wallet, though.

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