Thursday, June 23, 2011

First year of preschool completed!

Class photo after Special Olympics event

Emma finished her first year of preschool with a bang!  The last month or two of school when I would go to pick her up I would hear glowing reports from her teachers and therapists.  They loved telling me all the great things she was doing in school!  Using a switch to access and play computer games- check.  Picking the body parts requested when playing with Mr. Potato Head - check.  Choosing items that were the SAME or DIFFERENT when asked to pick a matching item from a field of two - check.  Pulling markers out of the holder to participate in crafts - check.  Attempting to move her arms with the songs in circle time - check.  Using the crawler to scoot all over the place during motor group fun - check.  Taking a couple of steps in the walker - check.  Participating in group activities with her peers instead of just watching everything - check.  Eating her lunch at school with the 20 other children instead of refusing food so she could just watch the kids and wait until we got home to decided to eat - check.
Max reading to Emma.  Max told the teachers to leave her on his shoulder when they wanted to move her.

The list of good things Emma was doing by the end of the school year just goes on and on.  This is a huge change from most of the rest of the year when Emma would actively not participate with her teachers/therapists because she was too busy looking at all the kids.  Watching every movement, getting distracted by anything at all that was NOT what the teachers wanted her to focus on.  Oh, Emma loved school - circle time, centers, snack;  she just didn't want to participate in anything with the teachers/therapists - she only wanted to be with her peer and watch them and smile at them and have them bring her toys to play with while she ignored the adults.

Emma playing with Theo during "beach" week
It was hard to say goodbye at the end of the year.  Everyone really embraced Emma, immersed her in full inclusion with all her typical peers, went out of their way to try and figure out how to adapt things for her skills and needs.  They kept me up to date on her happenings and sent me some photos of her playing with her friends.  The children really LOVED Emma and always were playing with her.  It's great how children are - they seem to flock to Emma and accept her just the way she is and always want to play with her.  Emma's school included Julia in many of the activities in the afternoon when we went to pick her up and Julia often asked me why should couldn't go to Emma's classroom instead of her pre-school because she loved Emma's school - mostly because their dramatic play area that changed each week was a favorite of hers and the preschool she attends doesn't switch up dramatic play that frequently!

Julia participated in Special Olympics, too.
Emma received a wonderful gift from her teachers - two photo albums of photos that capture her experiences in school this year.  Emma really LOVES to look through the albums while we ask her about the photos.  It is such a nice way for Emma to remember her first year of school and for us to get a much richer look into her days there.  Unfortunately our scanner isn't working so the photos I'm posting here are photos I took on my phone.  Suffice it to say there was a LOT of playing and crafting going on in the 3 year old classroom!

Harrison asked for a photo with Emma.  He always looked out for her and wanted to make sure she was happy.
It will be hard to move on to a different team for both Emma and me.  It's hard for me to trust new people with my non-verbal, non-mobile little girl.  It's hard for Emma to be around people without anyone from her family that knows all her subtle communication cues.  This year at preschool was a great experience for both Emma and me.  Her team commented on how much they will miss Emma and I had a couple of tears in my eyes when we said our goodbyes.  I will miss our first school Team Emma when we move and hope that our future experiences are as good as or better than this first year of preschool.

3 Comments from readers:

Abbey said...

Hi I found your blog through a comment you left at gavinowens.com.

My twin boys (2.5 years) were born with CMV as well. They both have hearing loss and very low muscle tone. They are awesome little men :) Anyway. I just wanted to say hellO!

The Mom-Mom said...

Loved this blog. I am so proud of
Emma and all that she has been doing the latter part of the year. I know only good things will happen as she progresses and moves on to a new school.

Luv my Emma

The MiMom

Jenna said...

My name is Jenna and I came across your site. Emma is an amazing, beautiful, courageous, strong and determined fighter. She is a brave warrior, smilen champ and an inspirational hero. I am so happy she loves school! I was born with a rare life threatening disease. i love it when people sign my guestbook. www.miraclechamp.webs.com