Monday, April 26, 2010
Today I had my first ever parent/teacher conference with Peri's preschool teacher. Is it just me, or does the thought of going to these feel like you're being pulled into the principals office?
As I sat outside and waited for my name to be called, it seemed oddly reminiscent of school office visits past. Not that I was a bad kid (I was too terrified to ever act out) but it was that same feeling when you are called to the office for any number of reasons. The first thing that goes through your head is, "What did I do?" Except this time, not only was I thinking "What did I do" but also "What did Peri do?"
I realize these meetings are purely informative but no one wants to hear bad news and so you sit there and wait for it. I was pretty sure she couldn't tell me anything I didn't already know. We made small talk and honestly, I wish we could have just done that the entire time. Because I knew it was coming. The inevitable was confirmed when she said she kept holding off filling out Peri's evaluation because she wanted to be able to put excellent on everything, but she and I both agreed that I would have questioned whether she knew which child was mine and did she even evaluate her. :oP
Peri is currently in an early intervention program to help with her delayed speech/comprehension. Over the last couple of years, she's made a lot of progress, but she still isn't grasping communication and relationships with peers as well as she should be. And a couple of weeks ago, her teacher there called me and mentioned that we may want to start evaluations for ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder). I signed all the paperwork and hopefully those evaluations will start soon. I know she'll test positive and I'll be relieved when she does, because as a parent, I can learn how to better meet her needs.
So hearing notes from both teachers only confirms that they're both seeing the same struggles with Peri. And that as a parent, I'll need to do things a little differently when it comes to how to best help Peri.
When the early intervention teacher told me about testing, she was walking on eggshells. Apparently, a lot of parents don't want to hear that there's something wrong with their child, especially if the word Autism is used. But what parents need to understand is that it has nothing to do with them and their ability to parent, and that understanding your child and their special needs can only make yours and your child's life that much easier. When you're all on the same page, the book makes so much more sense.
Is this a downer? Not at all. It's just a hurdle that my family and I will train together to jump. We're going to be Olympians by the end of this. I'll keep you posted on the progress. :o)
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