Summer break is officially over and Oia has begun another year of preschool, her third and final year. Technically, this year could have been the "big one", her beginning of Kindergarten. But it is not. She's young, just days away from turning 5. Developmental delays aside, age is reason enough for me to allow her one more year of preschool. One more year of absorbing. One more year of learning peer interaction. One more year of overall development ~ in the safe and familiar environment of her self-contained preschool class. She needs it. I'm calling it our year of cushion. My expectations are high.
This year will prove to be eventful, I am sure. Especially with full-on potty training in the picture. Her day begins with an 8am drop-off (Esme and I walk her into her room each morning). We return around 3 for pick-up, nearly an hour and a half longer than her previous school days because this year I have opted to make her stay for nap/rest time. Previously, I did not. I would pick her up just as the class was winding down for nap and then she would, under great protest, nap at home. Bed is better than mat and dirty school floor in my book. However, now that naps are no longer a part of her day because she simply has refused them shortly after Esme entered the picture, I feel there must be some time allotted for her to simply slow down, stay in one place, be quiet, and REST. Only the structure of school can teach this to her, she refuses for me. This rather simple idea is far from simple for Oia and those who know her well understand this. Learning to rest her mind and body will be a valuable lesson for her and maybe one of the hardest lessons she encounters this year. She has no settings; she is simply on or off. It's a blessing in disguise for an individual originally diagnosed as a spastic quadriplegic. But rest does a body good.
Also, her preschool class has been transferred into another elementary school. The school is huge, to say the least, with hundreds of students. This transfer into a different building brings a different speech therapist. It's the one therapy we are so intently focused on right now, and fiercely adamant that her instruction be specific to her apraxic needs. The adjustment to and the unknowns of a new therapist rocks my boat slightly. It's only day two and I've already requested to meet this therapist, observe a session, and asked that she watch the recorded sessions between Nancy Kaufman and Oia from our week of camp. And at my request, our private ST has informed the new ST of current goals and summer progress post camp at KCC. At this point, I hold no patience for dilly-dallying around when it comes to her language development. We all need to be on the same page.
And so another school year means more of those dreaded IEP meetings, more questioning, more watching, more hoping for perfect situations. I dream of nothing less. It means more progress, more growth, more of knowing and learning about our girl, and more celebrating. We will be vocal and wide-eyed all year long, all for the girl who is so sweetly naive to the long road that precedes her.
Tackle it, Oia. Show 'em what you're made of. May your third and final year of preschool be the best yet. We are forever right behind you. And proud of you no matter what.