Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Week Two @ Alameda : Are We Having Fun Yet?

Oh, Mini-Peanut. Oh boy. Do I wish I could make you feel better.

The second week of Kindie is rough. She wakes up sad, I struggle to get breakfast in her, she walks limply from the car to her school, and as we approach the school, insists that her ear coves go on to "make the sound go away"' and as we get closer to her room, she whimpers and then cries.


When I pick her up, Mrs. McCormick says each day is better, she participates a little more at their academic stations, and even wrote her name and named her letters yesterday. But when she comes out at 3:00pm she seems heavy with sadness, ear covers still on, not even perking up when she sees me, and with her eyes all wonky and crossed from strain (she needs her glasses full time now). She won't speak until we are clear of the school, and then immediately she smiles and sings songs.

Holy sh*t.

So here is the stress list I run through daily:

1. She needs time to adjust
2. She's heading towards a panic attack ala Isaac in Mrs. Raddick's class
3. She needs to learn independence
4. Her anxiety has her clouded in a fog all day
5. Kindie is a must, and she is in the best possible class and program
6. Can she even learn when she is like this
7. At some point she needs to join the typical world, and in that world, you go to school with all of the noises, lessons, and challenges that
come with it

I am giving it a month to see improvements in her demeanor. Then we will address her time in the classroom, and decide if we need to go part time. If that does not help, then maybe we need another year to mature.


  1. I am sorry to hear things are going rough and kindie is so challenging for O.
    We started with half-day and right now it seems the right amount. We'll see what happens tomorrow--this is the first Friday when the entire school (about 500 kids & adults) will get together in a big hall and do some kind of "round up" as a community building activity. The aide already reminded me to pack the headset and started prep for it.
    Waiting a year may be a good idea, too. My kid will be 6 this month, so we would have missed the cut-off last year anyway, but I think one extra year of preschool and an ABA program over the summer helped.
    Best of luck to you and O. How is your son doing in his class?

  2. You have a plan, and a plan B. And you are working so hard. Hang in there, Kristin and Olivia! Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

    We decided to go with private Montessori, and that is working out well. There's no speech path, but T seems to want to talk there. There is no OT, but T is using her hands in new ways every day. When she needs to calm down, she has a fish tank to gaze into. She has friends and she likes it. It's not for every family, but it seems to be working for us...right now.

  3. What Tara's mom said... you have a plan, and a back up plan. The good thing is that you can change this at any time.
    keep breathing, and give it some more time.

  4. I feel for you! We are in a "give it a month" mode too with our CBA K-2 classroom. Lots of poor communication about how stuff works so far, but no real sense of his experience in class yet. Some mildly threatening language on day 3 about "he is not responding or holding a pencil. He may do better with 1:1 attention, but unfortunately we don't have the staff for that!" Curriculum night is Monday, so we'll see what they say about what is happening in the classroom. We are sure we will need to visit and observe sometime soon as well.

    Can't help but think - are we giving him a sub-par educational experience and hoping it is good enough? Shouldn't we be pulling out all the stops to make sure he has the absolutely best educational experience NOW, to give him the best chances as he gets older? Are we somehow obligated to dive in and work to make PPS the best it can and should be for him (and others)? Is that even possible without one of us quitting our jobs?

    We will wait a bit and see, but putting other (private school) alternatives on the table in the meantime.

  5. Never easy, is it? I am searching for signs of stress, so that Miss O can avoid all of the fun times Isaac had in Kindie (panic attacks, his first FBA with PPS). The key for me is gauging how much stress vs how much education she is getting out of it. Isaac was 50/50 until Xmas that year, then the stress quickly took over and we lost any academic growth until Xmas of 1st grade.

  6. Hey Susie, can you let me know how it goes on Monday night? I am curious to what they say.