Nathan started public preschool a few weeks ago, and it’s been a positive addition to our routine.
He enjoys it, just as he has enjoyed the private preschool he’s been attending since last summer, and I’m happy that he’s getting more targeted help with his challenge areas.
It helps me, too, because although he’s a sweet, funny, pleasant, and enjoyable child, he’s not much into playing alone, so it was hard to get things done that needed doing within the scant eight hours per week he was at school before – now his combined preschool time is fifteen hours, which opens up whole new worlds for mom.
His private preschool sends home info sheets each day, letting me know how he played, what his mood was (I don’t remember a single time that the words “happy” and “playful” weren’t circled), and – of course – whether he pottied. The new public preschool sends home something similar, but much more detailed to address all of his developmental areas.
Much like the private preschool sheet, he’s described as “happy,” and most of the rest of the sheet reads pretty much exactly like I’d expect. But there’s one line on that piece of paper that bugs me every time.
Speech was: spontaneous / jargon / mimic / nonverbal / sign
The “nonverbal” option is always the one chosen. And it drives me nuts.
It’s no secret that Nathan’s speech is delayed and his articulation is not great. But he definitely is NOT nonverbal. He sings in the car and around the house (random words here and there, but still…), asks for Goldfish crackers, milk, and juice (and songs!), knows and names all the letters of the alphabet, counts to five consistently and to ten most of the time.
But at school, he’s mute.
I’m not sure if he’s shy (as if!), thinks he doesn’t need to talk to folks outside of our house, or is unsure of his ability to speak and be understood by non-family. I do know that it’s not just because he’s in a new place with new people, because he’s the same way at the private preschool.
Frustrating because I removed “will recognize letters” from his IEP but the teacher just has to take my word for it that he knows them. Frustrated because the speech therapist told me it’s clear that his receptive communication skills are great (i.e., he understands a lot of words, but doesn’t say any). Frustrated because I know he needs additional speech therapy but I wonder how much good it’ll do him if he’s completely silent with the therapist the way he is with the one at preschool.
I try to wrap up most of my blog posts with a positive message, or a question to ponder, or a lesson learned, or…something, but today I’ve got nothing. I’m just frustrated. But there’s a little piece of me that remembers that at the same age, Sarah Kate wasn’t walking yet.