Matthew, a boy in Maria’s class, invited her to her first birthday party (besides her own, of course). It was at Pump It Up!. The party starts in one room with bouncy things, then moves to another room with different bouncy things, then ends up in a room with cake and ice cream. I took Maria in one of the three bouncy things in each room–the others were a little too complicated or wild. She LOVED it!! From the first moment we walked in the big dark room, she started smiling. Her face was full of wonder and magic when we were in the bouncy things. It was wonderful.
Cindy, Matthew’s mom, was so sweet. She used to teach special needs kids, so isn’t intimidated by Maria. Her son has mild autism, you can hardly tell. He’s very nice to Maria. I talked with Michelle, cute little Dante’s mom; she’s the one who helped Sue put Maria in the car her first day back picking up Maria after fracturing her elbow. Michelle is very nice and also is protective of Maria. Matthew and Dante will be in preschool for another year. Monique was there, but didn’t pay attention to Maria. Maria’s best friend, Samantha, wasn’t there.
Most of it was good, positive, wonderful. Some parents (mostly of kids not in Maria’s class) seemed a little scared(?) of Maria–but I realize I’m over sensitive and I would have been the same way before I had Maria. The cake and ice cream room was a little intimidating because it had just 2 picnic tables in it, so the kids sat at the tables and the parents stood around the edge of the room. Nowhere good to put Maria, so I took her out of her stroller and held her at the emptier table. By that time, she was getting maxed out (falling asleep mid-cake bite), so she didn’t care where she sat.
I’m glad we went. It was a great experience for Maria. I’m sure it’s the first of many parties. Manolis was too chicken to go in the bouncy things; I thought it was fun. Next time his job will be the photographer; I was so busy with Maria, I didn’t get too many good pictures.
Kindergarten Transition Meeting–Friday we had a meeting with her preschool teacher and the therapists; I thought it was going to include the K teacher, but that meeting will be in the spring (which makes more sense, so why did they call this a K transition meeting when it was just her progress meeting??). Most therapists were nice, fine, supportive, etc. The speech guy said he only gave Maria a 20% because he didn’t feel she consistently gazed between 2 objects and made a choice. I told him that surprised me because she usually does well making choices. I asked him what objects he showed her, and he said a spoon and a shiny ribbon. Duh. No wonder she didn’t gaze between objects and make a choice. You need to give her good choices, like chocolate and asparagus. He also said we need to make sure she’s not pocketing food (hiding food in her mouth), which has never been a problem with her, and he showed us how to sweep around her mouth to be sure there’s no food. I said, “you mean you stick your fingers in her mouth?!” He said he was careful and to keep your fingers between the teeth and cheek. Sue is the only one who will put her fingers in Maria’s mouth, regardless of where you put your fingers, she’s fast and tricky and strong and has very sharp teeth. Ah well, he’s young, he’ll learn.
They talked about all the testing they need to do to give her another “label” (diagnosis?) for kindergarten because it’s different than the requirements for preschool. They’re leaning toward MDSSI (tho’ I think there’s another M or another D), which is something like Multiple Disabilities with Significant Sensory Impairment. They’re now acting almost like her hearing is normal (although she does have a hearing teacher), which is just about as bad as back when Maria was 6 months old and they acted like she was deaf.
I’ve really got to figure out something to do with her hearing–go back to the audiologist at Phx Child Hosp, send her test results to the woman I met from the Ear Foundation, do something! We’ve finally got a plan for her gross motor skills (stander, walker, Barb practicing with her, hippotherapy starting in early Nov), but I need to get on the communication thing, and I think it’s time to hop back on finding an occupational therapist for fine motor skills. Perhaps she’ll stop biting and hair pulling.
Many of the evaluations they need to do can’t be done the typical way (I assume they usually ask the kid questions), so I’ll need to fill out more forms, evals, etc. The one that makes me least comfortable is the school PT testing Maria for gross motor skills. She’s not the best judge of Maria’s abilities, though she’s less negative this year than last. I’d really like Barb to participate. I think I’ll ask Kelli if we can do that…. such a trouble-maker!