Oh, Miss O. How we torture you so.
I finally got Olivia to Peninsula School to check out Ms. Emily's EI class. And may I start by saying that it was lovely. It really was. The afternoon is a small class full of lovely children and wonderful teachers, in a light-filled room. Anyone in North or NE PDX looking for an EI program should check it out.
That being said, Olivia hated every second of it.
Yes, I know. Not only did she have a busy morning with social skills class and running her brother around, but then when she was begging and pleading to go home, I haul her off to check out the afternoon Peninsula EI class. So it didn't bode well. She was miserable from the beginning, but then it was made worse when she saw a little girl in the class having a hard time of it. She was a sweet little girl, but more severely effected Autism and would every few minutes let out a loud cry. And it shattered what little tolerance Olivia had with the new class. Olivia stood in the doorway, silently shaking and crying, overwhelmed with anxiety, until I conceded to the realization that it was just not working.
And yes, I know that we need to give it another try, and we will. But watching this class, and then watching the Kindergarten class at Alameda today getting ready to take their class pictures, I am suddenly convinced that she is just not going to be ready for K next year.
Kids run. Kids yell. Kids cry and go crazy and then have to be herded into nice neat rows by the teachers. And O just can't do it. She is still overwhelmed by unfamiliar kids and stressed when she hears someone crying or yelling. When Isaac would have a panic attack, he would lash out and run away. When O does it, she hides in a corner and sobs.
But I have a plan. Yes, I am voting for holding O back one year. It came up briefly once in conversation with my husband, and was dismissed, so I will petition again as the school year progresses.
I think O needs to stay in her sweet quiet Preschool for a year, working on her social skills and developing friendships. She is only really interested in other kids recently. Then, in the fall, I will enroll her in a public preschool, maybe even Alameda Preschool, with typical peers. K-test run. Then, Kindergarten.
What are the advantages? She is tiny. She has much younger classmates much larger than her (yes, I am thinking of you Tessa and Daschel). We need to work on her social piece and her anxiety issues (starting to see a Developmental Psych, next month).
(can you hear the crickets chirping?)
Ok. One. I was going to go back to work. Yes, pretty Princess Kristin and her nasty Anthropologie Addiction and desire to build the addition to the house needs at some point to add more than just charm and personality to the household (now, stop laughing. I KNOW who you are).
What to do, what to do...