Little Bear started at his fancy new school that costs a lot more than his not-so-fancy previous school. While we loved the one year old teacher, we always despised the two year old teacher and with a special needs kid and the good three year old teacher gone, the decision was made for us. We were done; we were ready to move on.
Little Bear’s new school is a breath of fresh air. The reports are more detailed, the teachers are more professional, the facilities are incredibly well-maintained. Not to say his old school was badly maintained – it was just an older building and it was showing its age, while this one is a new building and also shows its age. The playground at this school looks like a brand new city playground and impressed Big Bear so much that he labeled it “No Little Bear cole. Big Bear cole.”
His teacher said he doesn’t specifically play with other children, but he plays near them and rarely goes off into a corner on his own to do something. She said it seems that he likes being around others, which is very different from how he was perceived by his previous teachers. As his parents, we were thrilled to hear that he’s no longer avoiding contact with other children. Honestly, that’s all we want for him from this school: socialization. And we may be biased, but we both think we’re already seeing him improve a little bit, even though it’s only been two days. When we pick him up, he’s usually babbling to himself with new words, rather than quietly playing alone and when we’re at home, he’s usually in a much better mood for dinner than he was when he was at the other school. We decided we’re going to wait and ask his PT what she thinks in another week or two, since she’s seen him at both schools.
Little Bear has been talking a lot more lately, which has been easing a lot of the anxiety Papi Bear and I have felt. He calls Papi Bear “beh-beh” consistently and he’s started to say “Mama” every once in a while. He always asks for leche and agua by name, his favorite toys have names, and he tries to label things he doesn’t have a word for yet. For example, when we did his 2 year old photos last week, he called the balloons “bubbles.” Before he would have just grabbed at them and made no attempt to associate a word or sound with the object.
We’re going to see about changing his SLP soon. Although we love her as a person, but we don’t feel he’s getting anything out of the sessions. All we do is sit there and do puzzles and blow bubbles, which does not make for productive therapy. He learned the word bubble on his first day, which impressed us since his speech had completely stalled. He has yet to repeat that early success, though. His PT has taught him more communication skills than his SLP and I have to go to the hospital for the SLP while the PT comes directly to the house. The PT gets down on the floor and offers him things and makes him say “mas” or “more” or “mine” before she’ll give it to him, even if he gets uncomfortable with it. She does a deep massage on his arms and legs to calm him before she puts stress on him and she does it again once he’s done. Even though she doesn’t speak Spanish fluently, she’s made efforts to learn the Spanish children’s song that we use to calm him down. He trusts her, he enjoys her, and she challenges him. I wish we could have a half hour with her every day, rather than once a week, but unfortunately she doesn’t accept our insurance so we only get what’s provided through Early Intervention.
We have a few more evaluations coming up this week. OT is on Thursday and then he has another PT eval on Friday through our insurance. We’re trying to get as many hours as we can this year so he is prepared for regular public school preschool next year. Everyone has told us they see promise in him, so we’re still holding out hope that he can integrate and be in the classroom next to his brother. We’re keeping our fingers, toes, and everything else crossed. We’re hoping this new school is just what he needs to help him learn how to be with other kids.