[Background info: Because Anna has spina bifida, she receives physical and occupational therapy services through the public school system. Once a year, before her birthday, Rich and I meet with her teacher and therapists to discuss her progress, any concerns and develop a plan for the next year.]
Our annual meeting went well, in my opinion. Anna's therapists are very happy with the progress she's made this past year. With occupational therapy, the main areas of focus have been on using scissors and writing her name. She can do both and her therapist noted that she has the skills but she can be stubborn. (Ahem. I have no idea who she inherited that from.)
She will be in a regular kindergarten classroom next year (she is in a regular classroom now) but will be pulled out twice a week for physical therapy and once a week for occupational therapy. She is very shy and her teacher noted that she is concerned with Anna transitioning to a new school with a new teacher and new classmates. For me, this is also a bit of a concern with Emily as she is painfully shy as well. (I know who they inherited that from and it isn't me.) The girls are in separate classrooms right now and unless we request otherwise, they will remain separated. I did throw out the possibility of moving them to one classroom and they all shook their heads NO. They all believe that it is better for the girls to be on their own. In my head, I know that they are right but my heart aches knowing that it would be easier if they were in one room.
There was a coordinator from the new school there taking notes. We all went over what special services aside from therapy that Anna would need. There are no stairs at all and kindergarteners do not go anywhere in the school without an adult. There are "traveling" aides who assist students and it was noted that Anna may need assistance or in the very least, to be watched when all of the kids are moving from one place to another. (For example, from the classroom to the playground.) She's small to begin with and can easily lose her balance so there is a greater chance of her getting knocked down.
The girls will be attending kindergarten for half a day so there is no need for her to be cathed at school. Rich and I mentioned transportation because although we do plan to drop off and pick up the girls, we would like the bus to be an option in case of emergency or car break down, etc. (At least one other kid in our neighborhood will be in kindergarten next year, so the bus will be stopping on our street regardless. They said that they think all three would have trouble getting on and off the regular school bus because they are so small. So that's still on the TBD list.
Having the girls in separate classrooms has allowed them to grow as individuals and not as a unit. They have different friends (and boyfriends - haha) and different experiences. Anna's classroom had Star of the Day in January and February. (Star of the Day = the teacher gives the student a poster to fill out. It is presented in class and the student can bring in one show & tell item.) Allie's class is doing Star of the Day now.
The girls LOVE the whole idea behind this and Allie and Anna were so excited to fill out their posters. Emily's class hasn't announced whether or not they are going to be doing this so when Allie brought home her blank poster, I suggested that we photocopy it so that Emily could have the chance to complete one.
I want to note that I have asked Em why she doesn't just ask her teacher if they are going to be doing this at some point. Her response is that she's too shy to talk to the teacher.
Four year old drama. It's like a light switch.
(I'm only posting that picture because Em laughed at it when I showed it to her.)