Friday, August 29, 2008

2nd Grade - Revisited

Yesterday, when I got home, I still hadn’t sent an e-mail to Ms. R. 


Something told me that I needed to gather a bit more information beyond my crappy first impression – I do give people the benefit of the doubt…occasionally.


LMNOB and Punkinhead were lobbing a football back and forth, running and doing sensory stuff, playing together so nicely that they were very dismissive of my pleas to know how their days had gone.


“Good!”  Was the immediate response.


“Well, what did you do?”


Punkinhead’s memory is not the most reliable account for kindergarten at this stage in the game: “Weeeeellllll….I kinda don’t re-nembewr,” with a shrug of his shoulders.  “We got ‘signed seats on de bus today, and me an’ LMNOB sit togedder!”


“LMNOB, how ‘bout you?  What’d you do in class today?”


She ran and retrieved from her backpack a crossword puzzle and a worksheet story that they’d done and showed it to me with grins and elaborations on what the activities had entailed.  She seemed really happy and the worries that I’d had earlier in the day dissipated a little.


LMNOB had had some anxiety about going to school on the bus yesterday, because last year she’d preferred to prep for class in the school building rather than playing on the playground and that had been accomplished more easily when I dropped her off and walked in the school with her than if she’d ridden the bus.  Wednesday, the prospect of playing on the playground before the bell rang terrified her.


“How’d it go this morning, getting to school?”


“It went good.  Punkinhead and I went and played on the playground until the bell rang – then we each went to our classes.”




“So, is Ms. R doing anything sensory with you in class yet?”


“Yeah, we’ve done a BUNCH of stuff – crab walking, bunny hops, stretches, and today I showed them ‘starfish,’” she recounted gleefully.


“Good, I’m glad,” I murmured.  And I am – I just think that it is too bad that I’m having to dig this info out of my 7 y/o instead of hearing it from the teacher.  I mean, is that so control-freaky of me to want to hear from an adult how things are going?  Or is it reasonable, especially given LMNOB’s struggles?  So I prefaced my whole e-mail with an “I’m glad you are doing things and that they’re going well, but can you please communicate with me?” thesis:


Hi Ms. R,


I’m not sure how much you and Ms. M have had a chance to talk about LMNOB and/or how last year went, but one thing that is extremely important to me is open communication.


It seems like LMNOB’s doing pretty well thus far, which is great!  We had a few little bumps in the road Wednesday morning and she had some anxiety yesterday morning about going to school alone – but she did well.


She mentioned that you are already doing some sensory activities in the classroom with them, which I really appreciate and think is fantastic.  If you can please keep me in the loop with what’s gone on during the day, I am better equipped for knowing what activities we should be doing at home that evening – i.e. if the school day has had a lot of brain gym activities (crossing midline) perhaps at home we need to be high on the heavy work and vice versa.


Also, at some point I would like to sit down and chat with you about the social part of LMNOB’s issues – initiating and/or responding to conversations that are “confrontational” (that’s a technical term, not at all connoting emotional conflict but rather specific responses to address a need) are very difficult for her and we are focusing our weekly OT on this more to help her.  This tendency of hers can at times prove problematic – a few examples: 1.) last year upon finding the door shut (due to weather – it had normally been open) when the bus dropped her off, LMNOB didn’t knock on the door (initiating the specific response of someone opening the door) and instead sat on the porch for 40 minutes, when the provider remembered it was early release day and LMNOB should have been there by now – that one has safety ramifications that I get concerned about 2.) LMNOB got a pink slip last year at recess due to running away from the playground aide and not explaining her side of a dispute.  These are all things that I’d like to see less of this year, but should they occur, it is imperative that folks working with LMNOB know the background in order for things to be dealt with appropriately.


I’ve copied BT the OT – our OT that LMNOB sees weekly at LocalRehabCenter.  There is a release of information on file for the school to speak with her and I would prefer that our communications include her as much as is possible.  BT the OT plans on being in attendance at the 504 mtg on the 18th.


Thank you!

Heather Meyer




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