Friday, March 20, 2009

First Parent Teacher Conference.....

Rhett has been in school for about three weeks now. I know it's not very long, especially considering him and I have been joined at the hip since birth. He hasn't been anywhere by himself before. I'm sure school is scary and different to him.

So why am I surprised that he doesn't talk in school?

Truth be told, I never even thought about the fact that he would shut down in the classroom. I mean, here at home he talks non stop. Not just a word here or there, but full blown sentences. When he needs something, he tells me he needs it. If he needs help, he comes to me and says "Mommy 'mere, HELP!!!"

But apparently in the classroom setting he signs alot, but isn't to interested in talking. Nor is he really all that interested in playing with the other kids.

Which is fine, I mean he is at least a head smaller than the rest of his class, and is quite a bit behind compared to a typical three year old. He will go up and see what they are playing, and the kids try to include him, but in the end he would rather just play on his own.

Again this surprises me because here at home he is always right in the middle of anything that his siblings are doing.

He also won't pass off his body parts, which I know he knows. We have worked on them for months, and here he does it all the time, even without prompting.

So my question to you, my dear blog readers, is this:

What was pre-school like for your child with special needs when they first started? Did it take them a while to get used to it?

Why do you think Rhett is in a shell at school?

I know he likes school. He gets super excited whenever we talk about it, and he loves getting on the bus. He loves his teacher as well. That was apparent last night.

I just want him to be at his full potential at school. Am I pushing too hard?

Maybe I expect too much out of him after all he has been through.

Come on bloggy friends. Lay your advice on me.


Niksmom said...

Give him time to adjust. Nik went though similar stuff when we had him in school (he was 2 1/2 and the youngest in his class). I asked the teacher about it a lot and she promised me that nearly all kids do things differently at school than at home.

Think about it: at home, Rhett knows exactly where he stands with everyone and has no inhibition. School is still very new in terms of the people, learning expectations, etc.

I would talk about it with his teacher and ask if she thinks it would be useful for you to "volunteer" in his class a couple of times. He may open up more if he has a familiar and secure anchhor there. You could maybe prompt him to "use your words" or whatever works to try to get him to talk more.

If your gut tells you he loves going to school and being on the bus, trust that and let him blossom in his own time. He *will* and he will shine, shine, shine. xo

Holly said...

I have to agree with the giving him time. Charlie's been in school for 2 months now and he's just now to the point of being comfortable. He is definitely more comfortable with signing and has picked some up at school. The plus is he is starting to say more at home and at school.

Anonymous said...

I would give him more time. Abigail does things at home she doesn't do at school. He will soon start talking. Emily my typical child didn't talk when she went to her preschool at all. At home she never stopped. I would get all these notes home saying she so uiet she never talks. It was not that she was shy ,she would talk to people she just met.When she went into kindergarten I asked the teacher and para if Emily was quiet in class they looked at me like I was crazy. He just started. Abigail is quieter at school too. I am glad he enjoying school so much.

Anonymous said...

I would definitely give it time. I know that my kids (who are not special needs) and even myself take time to adjust to a new situation. My almost 4 year old is VERY outgoing and the "leader" of everything in a comfortable setting, but introduce her to a new place and she's shy, not sure what to do, clingy and takes time to adjust. It took 4 weeks of once a week going to our bible study before she was participating AT ALL which seemed unusual to me, but I just gave it time. I'm sure with time he'll get comfortable there and come out of his shell.

LisaL said...

Not to sound repetitive but... give him some time. And even then he may start talking with only one special person at school that he feels he can trust. My youngest started school at the end of November and has really just started talking in the last week or two. It is wonderful that he is loving school. It is a big adjustment! If they keep encouraging him then it will come. After he has been there for awhile and they feel they have his trust they will be able to push him further. Does he talk during is beloved Signing Time? Maybe they could do an activity with that one day if he sings along.

Anonymous said...

I am sure he will adjust and feel more confident once he gets to know everyone. Have faith.

Christina said...

hey pam its cousin christina, cameron did the same thing and it took him a good three weeks and he was doing the same things in preschool that he was doin at home he is probally just testing the waters. talj to you soon love ya

mom26kids said...

that sounds just like Mariah. it took her 4 months to start talking and to feel comfortable. Her teachers came to our house for a home visit and they couldn't believe how well she could talk. She wouldn't pass off anything either. I had her do some things while they were there and then I just tell them what she knows because the reason they test is to see what they need to work on with them so it is important that they know what he knows so they aren't working on goals that he already knows. I have even heard of parents video taping their kids so the teachers can see. I think this is typical with our kids. they are little stinkers and very good manipulators. Mariah has the kids doing things for her all the time like pouring her milk putting on her coat drives me nuts if they don't do it she tells them to. good talking I guess. He will come around he needs to develop a relationship with his teachers and figure out what this school thing is all about. How exciting though that he is able to go to school

my--four--sons said...

With my little guy it took until his second year of preschool before he would even sign. He had developed an attatchment to one of his little friends and as more time went on he finally started verbalizing.

Of course they are all different and will do things in their own way and at their own time.

I think Rhett is a very resilient little boy. This is just new and scary. I'll bet he will be charming his way through school before you know it.

Christina said...

I am with the others, give him more time. Vince started when he was 16 months, but it was not till after he was 2 that he really started to play with the others. NOw he plays very well in the group and he loves to immitate what the other kids do. Just let him get used to everything and then he will be back to being the same at home as in school.

Oh, a side note, Vince is WAAAAAAAY better behaving at day care than home... No tantrums, wears his glasses all day, and listens very well. hahaha.

fr Austria

Michelle said...

Braden was in speech when he was little; he was a late talker. He never spoke a word for MONTHS when he was at school. We had his teacher do a home visit, and she was amazed at how much he talked at home. Is Rhett's teacher willing to do a home visit? Maybe put her in his environment? It takes time, I'm sure he'll do great when he's ready!

Anonymous said...

I've taught ECSE for years. Like everyone else said, give him time. The teacher home visit idea is a good one too, if its an option. Kids are different at home than at school. Signs are probably his easiest way to communicate when he's stressed, which is why he's using that. Its a good sign he's communicating. The words will come soon.

Ally in Wonderland said...

I agree with Nicksmom 150%. We had a student similar to Rhett (T21) who went through the same thing, she didn't talk to us for months. All her skills her mom and grandparents told us she could do, we never saw. BUT, then one day, she realized she was safe, she was loved, and she could just get down and have fun and boy did she open up.

Point it, this is just as new for Rhett as it is for you. In fact, it's probably really, really scary for him. He's having to get used to new people, a new routine, and way new expectations. Give him a little time and just watch him bloom. Pretty soon your parent-teacher conferences will go like this, "Rhett, well, we can't get him to shut up. And he won't stop kissing the girls. And he likes to play with everyone and everything." And you'll remember this and giggle.

It'll be fine!!

Ali Rae said...

I think I missed the winner for the Toy Wrangler. It was the first time I tried to win one of these online give-aways so I was just curious. =)


HappyHermit said...

I am not sure what to say , my little's are so little , but my eldest refuses to communicate with people he just met , it takes some weeks before he will even talk IN FRONT of people much less TO them.

Have a Happy 2nd Party Day !!

MaybeMama said...

My son started preschool in January and let me just say that what you are describing about Rhett's experience in school is EXACTLY what Dima went through the first month. He wouldn't speak, would only parallel play, wouldn't do things I knew he could do. After about a month he got more comfortable and started to slowly ease into doing some of the things he is capable of. (still not all, but getting there)

Dima is about a head smaller than the other kids as well and that worried me a bit at first. Then I got to spend a day in the classroom and I was so touched by how the other kids were with him. He was their little buddy. I think they sort of viewed him as a bit of a baby because of his small size and the fact that he doesn't talk much, but it made them feel the need to be protective of him and to try and encourage him to participate.

Colleen said...

I would definitly give him more time. My daughter was so shy and quiet at first(although not a verbal child then anyways)...but she used to just watch the other kids...then finally after months she started joining in and playing with just took her feeling more comfortable.

RK said...

Braska only goes one morning a week to her pre-preschool, and she's been going since the beginning of the year, but it's only been in the last two weeks that the teacher told me that she was finally a "chatty cathy" like she generally is. She still doesn't always participate in everything, but she's doing much better already. When she's out in public and people talk to her, she doesn't generally talk to them right away, she does revert to signing often as well. Only in the last month or so has she been open with her "showing off" tricks and things even with grandparents and such...and we've lived near them for about 10 months now.

I'm sure he'll be charming them all with his awesome speech and play skillz very soon! The home visit idea is interesting, though, and it might be very helpful, too.

Megan said...

Pam - Abby has done this. The good thing is that you know about it so quickly. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case for us. Abby wasn't talking or signing at school, and we had no idea. I'd say to just be aware of it, and give him time to be familiar with the kids and with the surroundings. I bet he'll start talking a lot soon!


Anonymous said...

Is he on an IEP and if not why not??? He is three and has a disability. The Team is responsible for coming up with a detailed IEP under IDEA as you know. What are the specific language and social objectives for him? Where is his detailed IEP with all of this spelled out? Should have been done before he entered school. Don't let the lame school throw it back on you. Where are their SLP and special ed teachers?

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