Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The big week is now in our rear-view mirror

When last I wrote (which must have been 10 years ago now - sorry!) I mentioned that Quinn had a big week ahead. So here's how it went:

New play group: Eek! He loved the "play" part, which lasts an hour. The circle time part? Um, not so much. He squirmed, he kicked, he didn't listen, he didn't participate. No big nightmare, but not the biggest success, either.

New music class: Yay! Similar behavior issues, but the class is co-taught by a special ed teacher/ music therapist who is both understanding and full of good ideas. Quinn really enjoys it, although he doesn't exactly do what you would call participate...

New therapist: Yay! LOVE her. Very smart, great with kids. On our first visit she seemed a bit flightly; but on our second visit she showed up armed with a plan of action just for Quinn and a truckload of great strategies. She also served up something I hadn't heard of before: a compression vest, basically two pieces of neoprene that wrap very tightly around him. He is not crazy about the vest, but darned if it doesn't calm him right down.

Entrance evaluation for the speech and language preschool: OH MY GOD! In our first phone conversation, the director told me that Quinn sounded like more than they could handle. She agreed to test him, but made it very clear that if he couldn't finish the test - which can last up to 90 minutes - he wouldn't be admitted. Friends and therapists told me not to worry, that it would be games and fun activities. Wrong!

I swear, it was like the test was created just for Quinn to fail. It was 90 minutes of this poor child sitting at a table answering questions. I could not believe this was being expected of a 4-year-old. At two points I had to sit with him on my lap because he got so squirmy. And once we took a break at my dear mother's absolute insistence. (Also, I put the compression vest on wrong and he immediately tore it off.) But, by God, this child FINISHED that test. Even when the tester came out into the hall afterwards and told us SHE HAD MISSED AN ENTIRE SECTION OF THE TEST AND WE HAD TO COME BACK IN - he did it. I was so proud of him I just hugged him afterwards and tried not to cry. The speech pathologist who administered the test took a quick look at his results and said his receptive language skills are absolutely normal, meaning he understands what he hears - he just doesn't necessarily answer or follow directions based on what he hears.

So is he in? We don't know yet. I phoned the director the next day to ask her what's next, and I could tell she was gearing up to say they weren't going to take Quinn - even though she admitted she hadn't seen his test results yet. So I offered to enroll him on a trial basis, and take him out after a set period if they thought he was too disruptive. She seemed open to that, but we'll have to see.

So why am I so determined to get him into this horrible-sounding school? Because when we visited last spring I was absolutely blown away by the quality of the programming, the love the teachers showed the kids and the results I have heard about from friends who sent their kids there.

We're supposed to hear this week. I swear, I'll post an update before another month has passed!

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