Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Young Fives

Maya's hair is finally growing. She does have an engaging smile

Should she be a red-shirted kindergartener?

Tessa's official preschool photo. Ms Tess, despite her tender age, possesses most of skills needed to start kindergarten already.
Many school districts, including Ann Arbor and the one that Shanna's kids go to, have a program for kids whose birthdays fall in the summer and thus they might not be as mature as kids born earlier in the year called Young Fives. The kids spend a year in this program and then they are ready for the full day rigors of kindergarten. The days of parents sneaking their kids into school early are long gone. (Steve started school when he was four, skipped a grade later, and ended up being a freshman in college when he was 16). What parents are more likely to take advantage of this program? Wealthy ones, ones who have time to drive their kid to and from school in the middle of the day. Poor parents don't have that luxury. Parents who need their children for financial reasons to be in school all day have no incentive to put their children in a half day program that doesn't provide transportation. And so the gap between rich and poor increases...

I just got back from a parent/teacher conference at Maya's school. Due to her late birthday, immaturity, and significant developmental lags, they are recommending her next year for Young Fives which is housed in a school just as close as her regular kindergarten would be in. Hmmm..  would this mean  an extra year in which Naomi remain financially dependent on us? Fortunately unlike Shanna's district, it is an all day program and transportation is probably provided. Perhaps they realized the kids that needed this the most weren't being served. Still she has to apply to get accepted into the program.

When kids get special services through the school district, they have an IEP, Individualized Education Plan. She has speech therapy and occupational therapy which works with her deficient fine motor skills. In many aspects, she is age appropriate, socially and physically. Her speech has come a long way though multi-syllable words trip her up. We met 6 people who work with her. All are impressed with how happy, friendly and sweet she is. Her speech therapist is one of my former brownies. Even though all the main players were there, this was not an official IEP meeting where goals are set, just a progress update.

I am no stranger to IEPs as Naomi had one though it took 2 years of me insisting on one. Her disability did not fit the usual criteria. They finally came up with language processing disorder. She could not summarize what she just read or what she just heard. Very frustrating. She claims she was just too bored to pay attention. Unfortunately, the experts had no idea on how to help her.

When people ask Oliver his name, he writes it down as usually they can't understand his answer. He replaces most 'r's and 'l's with 'w's. The speech therapist is not concerned with the 'r's but thinks that a 6 year old should be able to say an 'l'. Let's see what tricks they have to have him say it.

There is a character on the The Big Bang Theory that despite his genius IQ, has Oliver's issues.

I have a weal pwobwem with Siwi's voice wegcontion pwogwam......It weally sucks....

Yesterday, a possible cold and windchills below zero made skipping a day of running seem best. Back out there today as it was calm. Snow was just starting to make things slippery when I finished though I felt fine on the run. We fishtailed several times on our way to the school. Hate winter.

1 comment:

Elephant's Child said...

Both of them have engaging smiles.
I started kindergarten early. As did my brothers. And it (mostly) worked for us.


Blog Archive