Apparently I COMPLETELY misinterpreted our meeting yesterday. I have no idea how I could have been so wrong, but somehow I was.
We walked into the preschool this morning after PT. It was snack time and so I had her sit at the table and went into the infant/toddler (I/T) room to sign her in. I was shocked when they said that Sweet Pea would be coming back into the I/T room at 11am. Considering it was already 9:20, I was shocked! I went to speak with the director and she said that all the kids transition slowly. I was able to convince her that because she had speech from 10:30 to 11:30 that she could stay over there until noon. I was so frustrated that I had misread things so completely that I didn't know what else to say.
After snack we went into the bike yard and Sweet Pea did better than I thought, but she definitely needs some assistance there. We are going to borrow one of the cars so that we can practice with her and teach her how to climb in and out without pulling the car over. I think we will be successful if the past is any indication of future performance. We just have to figure out how to get her out of the car as safely as possible before we can teach her. Her legs are too short to do it in the normal manner.
After the bike yard the class went back inside for circle time. Sweet Pea sat down on her little carpet square and I left. I was too emotional about the situation, but taking a little time to breathe and speak with my husband and my mom allowed me to come up with an idea.
I created an excel file of her schedule matched up with the class schedule. I then went through and divided the times up to show when Sweet Pea could be in which room. I set up a 3 week transition schedule that gets her into the preschool room full time by the 31st of May. It wasn't what I had hoped for, but I thought that this would at least allow me to have a firm understanding of where she was for what portions of the day. Additionally, it would put a little pressure on the preschool to press forward with more time each week. It's far from ideal, but it will hopefully allow for the end result to be reached within the month and that is something I can live with.
In speaking with the director today it was clear that her biggest concern is for the safety of Sweet Pea. I think she is being overprotective and am trying to impress upon her that we are not worried and understand that she will fall down and get hurt. It's inevitable and we will worry if she doesn't ever get hurt. All kids do and so if she isn't, then they are babying her too much. I hope that I can convince them that she will be fine and to teach them that they don't need to hover over her. Next Tuesday will be our next day to try it. Wish us luck!
Oh, and the director sent out a letter that we had written introducing Sweet Pea and sharing a little about Down syndrome and how inclusive education is beneficial to all kids, not just special needs. I've been amazed at the response! Three children came over to meet her when we first walked in this morning and I've had two parents email me that they are glad Sweet Pea is in the school with their kids. Another parent shared that when she opened the letter her son was so excited and saying "Sweet Pea swing" and "Sweet Pea eggs" and just so excited to be seeing pictures of her. Her son doesn't speak much and so it was even more special when he then turned around and saw Sweet Pea with me and exclaimed "Sweet Pea" with such joy. It was so heart warming and just what I needed today. Sweet Pea has a way of pulling people to her and I know it will serve her well in years to come!