Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘kindergarten

Wordless Wednesday 22 Aug 12

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I have Hello Kitty at home. This might be the world’s biggest understatement.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

August 22, 2012 at 6:33 am

Starting School

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Pudding has started at her new school.  You’re probably wondering how it is going.  I could have written that things were going well after the first day, but I didn’t.  Nor at the end of the first week (half-week, really).  Only now dare I actually say it.

Things are going well.  I daren’t jinx it.  I want it to keep going well.  I want that more than anything.

I want her to continue to have the same enthusiasm for school that she does right now.  Where she is mad at the weekend, because she just wants to go to school that much.

Her whole team has been pleasantly surprised with the ease of the transition.  Last week, she started going until 12.30, which means she is now dealing with leaving her homeroom and attending art and music classes.  All this she is taking in her stride.  Our girl is blossoming, just like we knew she would, if she was planted in the right soil.

Just in case you think we’ve swapped Pudding, she still proves herself to be just as she always was.  Her teacher has been kind enough to send home photographs so we can see for ourselves how she is doing in class.  One photograph was of all the class: children and teachers.  I asked Pudding to name everybody in the photo for me, and she dutifully obliged.  And when I asked who her favourite kid was, she responded with “Pudding.”  She is who she is, and we love her for it!

But don’t just take my word for it, this is what her teacher emailed to me today:

Hello (I want to add the word Kitty!)

 

Pudding* had such a wonderful day at school today.  I wanted to share her Journal writing with you.  On previous mornings she has drawn for me and been done…. But today she wrote more than most of the kids in the class.  Her phonemic knowledge is very good and I use her to help find letters when we are working on a whole class writing piece.   

I am also getting her to use computers more and she is very good at navigating her way through to programs that she likes.  Pudding has also found where I keep my ipad and enjoys some of the alphabet apps on it. 

I just want you to both know that Pudding has wormed her way into my heart and I am really enjoying learning with her and about her.

 

Best email ever.  She had me at the first line.  Seeing the picture almost had Spectrummy Daddy and myself in tears.  I’m going to save that for tomorrow.  It won’t be a Wordless Wednesday, because there is a whole sentence in it!

So there you go- this is almost a straight up, unqualified, things are going great kind of post.  Almost.  Because in less than two weeks we’ll be pulling her out of school for R&R, and she might really not want to miss school for that long.

But I’m not about to start complaining about a child who wants to go to school, nor a school that wants to have my child there!  I’m just going to enjoy Pudding starting school.  I’m the luckiest of all spectrummy mummies to get to do that.

 

*Nope, she doesn’t call her that, in case you were wondering.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

August 20, 2012 at 8:36 pm

First Impressions

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On Friday I took Pudding to her New School to meet her New Teachers and play with her New Friends.  Did you notice all the New in that sentence?  Pudding did.  She did pretty well, but she was the most anxious I’d seen her in a long time.

The new school is quite a distance away, so I sipped on a hot chocolate on the drive over.  Only when I got out did I realize the drink had been leaking on to my top the whole time.  I wasn’t going to make a great first impression.

When Pudding gets anxious, she tends to withdraw and disengage.  Some children on the spectrum (and some who aren’t) have other ways of expressing their anxiety.  It is obviously hard to see a child who becomes aggressive or tearful, but at least you can see that something is amiss.

I, of course, was feeling anxious too.  But seeing Pudding’s new teachers pick up on Pudding’s anxiety made me feel calm. If they can read her, I can relax, and focus on other things, like the amount of hot beverage I spilled on myself without noticing.

Pudding’s new teacher had very thoughtfully made her a new book with pictures of her new school, class, playground and teachers.  Pudding hung on to that thing like a life raft as a sea of new people, big and small, came to introduce themselves to her.  No, she didn’t want to play.  No, she wasn’t going to say ‘hi’.

And that was fine.  Pudding needs to be comfortable before she can be herself.  First impressions don’t matter much to her.  That can be a problem for strangers who don’t allow for anxiety.  Who makes judgements from isolated incidents that prove that she is antisocial and withdrawn.  It isn’t the whole story.  It isn’t even a whole chapter.  But it can be enough to make some people but the book down.

Back down to just two teachers and us, Pudding relaxed, and even spent some time alone with them.  We all agreed that bringing Pudding back another couple of times before the end of term would be beneficial.  While this might be the first impression, it wasn’t going to be the last.

And then the teachers mentioned how they’d found this blog.  So it wasn’t exactly first impressions any way, not if you could read about our lives for the last couple of years.  I finally got over the fact that my top was stained by the persistent thought that several of these people had probably just read my post about nipples!  (But artfully done, right?).

Pudding was willing to come back, and really that was the only thing that mattered.  My first impressions were of a welcoming, experienced staff, and a caring community- the kind that I’d be happy to return to.  Which is just as well, because we were back there today (more on that tomorrow).  With someone as beautifully complex as Pudding, you don’t so much judge the book by the cover, as find that you want to keep reading more and more as her story unfolds.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

May 21, 2012 at 5:02 pm