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Family Friday: Do We Stay or Go?

We had parent-teacher conferences at Hayleigh’s school on Tuesday. Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook will know about this all ready. Her teachers expressed some concerns about her development, most her social development and some of her motor skill delays. We were all set on sending her on to Kindergarten next year, but after this meeting, we’re torn between keeping her back and sending her on.

There are no concerns from any of us about her academic progress. She is right where she needs to be there. She counts to 100(they only expect 30 by the end of the year), she knows all of her shapes, colors, letters, and letter sounds. She’s even starting to recognize words when we’re reading books. We were reading Fox in Socks the other night and she read the first few pages, only needing help with the name “Knox”. Once I explained to her that the K was silent, she didn’t have a problem. Now, once the sentences got more complex, I did more of the reading, but still I was impressed with what she could do.

But, even though the school year is about three-quarters of the way through, she is not adjusting, especially socially. It’s not just that she won’t talk or play with the other kids either. She won’t interact with them. If there’s something she wants or wants to do, and another kid is in her way, she’ll go do something else. She won’t try to push her way through or even ask for them to get out of her way. If she needs help with something, she won’t ask. She just sits there until someone notices she needs help.

I was discussing some of these issues with my mom on Wednesday and her response? “Hmmm. That sounds like someone else.” Yes, she takes after me. And that’s the problem. I don’t want her to be like me. I don’t want her to have the same issues when it comes to dealing with people. Everyone thinks I’m just shy, but it goes even deeper than that. And there’s the guilt I feel because I feel like at least some of why she is this way is because of me. And not just that I may have passed my personality on to her. But, because of my own social issues, she never really socialized with other kids when she was younger. So, I wonder if she would have, would she be at least a little more outgoing? Or if even not outgoing, at least be able to adjust to being around other kids and interact with them. But, then I look at Nathaniel, and he’s had the exact same early environment, but the exact opposite personality. So it may have not made any difference. And I know it doesn’t make any difference to question myself now. There’s no way to go back and change it.

And if we move her on to Kindergarten, she will likely not receive her speech therapy services anymore. Which in a way is good. It means she’s come far enough that they don’t feel she needs them anymore. But, the requirements are different once they consider a kid school age, so they have to be further delayed than when they were younger. If we keep her in the pre-k program, she’ll still receive those services. And if she loses the speech therapy, she likely won’t qualify for the physical and occupational therapy services anymore either. And she does still need them. She especially struggles with the fine motor skills, like cutting and writing. It’s not that she can’t do it, just that it takes her longer. It takes her longer to do just about everything it seems. Even eating snack. And when she goes to Kindergarten, she’ll have half an hour to get her lunch, her seat, eat, and throw everything away. And if she has trouble opening something, she doesn’t ask for help. The last thing we want is for her to go hungry because she didn’t have enough time to eat because she wouldn’t ask for help with something.

And another concern her teachers had is that she seems to need to be walked through every step of a routine. And this is something we’ve seen at home too. It’s a long process to get her ready for school. We have to tell her to put her shirt on. Then put her pants on. Then get her shoes on and her coat. We can’t just say, “Hayleigh, get dressed” or “get ready to go.” It’s like we have to walk her through every step of it. And we’ve been hearing a lot of “I can’t”s lately, even when it’s something we know she can do perfectly fine.

And there’s her level of frustration when she doesn’t do something exactly right. The other day she was practicing writing her name and while writing her last name made an M instead of W. I just made a comment that it wasn’t quite a W, and suddenly she couldn’t do it anymore. She does this with everything. She’s always been a perfectionist. I honestly think that’s part of why it took her longer to walk and talk.

There are plenty of pros and cons on both sides of this decision, which is why we are so torn over it. Right now though, I think we’re leaning more toward keeping her back for another year in Pre-K. We don’t have to make a final decision yet though.

In other news, Nathaniel had his 18 month check-up yesterday. He now weighs 25 lbs, 4 oz(60%). I really thought he was going to weigh more than that. He is almost 32 inches long(25%). So, he’s kind of short and chunky. 😉 I think he may be about to go through a growth spurt though, so if his appointment had been in another week or two, those stats could have been different.

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