Monday, November 17, 2014

Reese Starts Preschool!

So that title? Can it be real? Is Reesey really old enough to start preschool??? Sadly, yes. Yes she is. She will be THREE in two days!! Yikes! I feel as time has literally sped past me. I don't even know where the last three years have gone.

I think I have posted before about her speech problems. In a nutshell, last year I self referred to the Arizona Early Intervention Program. She qualified and has been receiving in-home speech services since October 2013. This program services children from birth to 3. Once a kiddo turns 2 1/2 they start the process of exiting them and finding a new program for them to join. We are lucky enough to live in a district that is fully inclusive. That means that we believe that all children should be in a general education classroom as much as possible, their least restrictive environment. So in our schools you will see kiddos with Down's, autism, Cerebral Palsy, etc in a regular classroom with 'regular' kids. We are also lucky to have a preschool where children with special needs can attend and receive additional services with peer models. A speech impairment falls under the category of special needs so kids with a speech only diagnosis can qualify to attend this preschool and get speech therapy from a speech pathologist.

We started the transition process in August and last month, Reese was evaluated through VIP (Vail Inclusive Preschool). a few weeks ago we found out that Reese scored in the normal range in the language and expressive assessments and 78 on her articulation assessment. Children need at 77.5 or lower in any of the 3 areas to qualify for speech services. In case you are not good at math, Reese scored just a mere half a point to be considered in the 'normal' range for her articulation. The preschool team 'discussed' Reese and came to the decision to qualify her anyway because when speaking in conversation she is difficult to understand and many times they had to look towards me to get a translation. Brian says her qualification was a perk of me being a kindergarten teacher in the district. Whatever. I'm good with it.

I was really torn on whether I wanted her to go to VIP or come to the preschool at my school. I really liked the idea of her being on campus with Jaxon and me, and seeing her throughout the day. But, our preschool is not structured and knowing Reese, she needs structure. Going to VIP means that she has to ride the bus and that makes me a little nervous. So it was nice to have someone else make the decision for me. She is beyond excited about her school and about riding the 'kool bus' as she calls it. Thank goodness she is an independent little girl!

Today was the big day! today was the day she went to school by herself. She was totally ready and really excited! I took the day off to spend the morning with her and get her pumped up, that's code for remind her endlessly about how to behave at school. I think I'm more nervous about that than anything else! Poor Reese has a bad rep.

As I began to get ready, she had to take a bath in my bathtub and demanded I blow dry her hair. And who am I to say no to a little primping?

Primping didn't stop at hair drying, it had to be taken to nail polishing. She is my daughter! 

"I am a Preschooler!"

She wants to be a 'fighter fighter' when she grows up

AT this point she just wanted to get going! 
Brian met us at the school and she could not have been happier!

Walking in like a big girl. Sniff Sniff

Here's her classroom! 

Putting her things away in her very own cubby.
Is this really happening??

Putting her name tag on the attendance poster. 

With her first teacher, Ms. Ashely
At this point Brian had to literally drag me away. I just wanted to stay, hang out, watch her have her first day of school.Brian is all rational and didn't think it was the right thing to do. She didn't even think twice when we left. She was happy to play and explore her new school. 

When I picked her up she was so happy! The first thing she said was, "I painted you a piture!"

 Jaxon was pretty excited to pick her up too. He even gave her a big hug when she came out of her classroom.

A day at school is very exhausting though. she fell asleep mid-drink about a mile into our drive home. 

Tomorrow will be the first day she rides the bus! Eeeek! She cannot wait for that!