When Kinsley turned three years old a few weeks ago, she aged out of Early Intervention. Carol, our wonderful developmental therapist, is now no longer able to see Kinsley since she works for EI. We will miss seeing her every week so much, but as she has become a wonderful friend, we will still be seeing her as friends! Anyway, after EI, in Arkansas, children with special needs move on to the 3-5 program which is set up through the public school system. None of it is required, but if we wanted Kinsley to continue receiving developmental therapy, which we do, then this is how it's done. We had the option of meeting with another developmental therapist who works with kids aged 3-5 once a week or we could try the preschool. The preschool has a morning and afternoon class each lasting 3 hours a day Monday-Thursday. We decided the interaction with other children is something we wanted Kinsley to have more exposure to, so we enrolled her in the afternoon class. We are going to do a trial run for one month and see how things are going. If it seems to be overwhelming to her, unbeneficial or in any way wrong for her then we'll take her out and set up the one hour a week with a developmental therapist. Hopefully, though, she will enjoy it and it will help her development to continue to increase.
As I drove away from the preschool, I fought off tears. I have such mixed emotions about this. I hate to lose the 12 hours a week with her that I'm so used to having. Afternoons were our Mommy and Kinsley time where we would read, play and work on therapy skills together. Of course I also had household chores and errands to do during that time that she would tag along with me for. But, I've felt for a long time now that she needed more opportunities to be around other children. There are 5 or 6 other children in the afternoon class. Of course I don't know any of their diagnoses, but at a glance, each of them is higher functioning than Kinsley. Though it breaks my heart that she is so far behind her peers, I'm thankful she will have other kids showing her an example of what more appropriate play looks like. Additionally, they try to include typically developing children in the class to provide role models for the students which is very helpful as well.
I will miss our afternoons together, but we will still have every morning (where she still receives her PT, OT, and ST therapies which I attend with her) all day Friday, all weekend and all summer together. That's what I keep telling myself to remember that it will be alright.
Will you please pray with us that this will be a successful and beneficial change for Kinsley?
Here's a picture of her right before we drove to preschool. Of course I forgot to take pictures once we got her there! Ugh. Mother of the Year Award goes to me, right!? If I'm not too emotional to think, I'll try to take some when I pick her up.
|First Day of Preschool!|
|Happy birthday, Kinsley!|
|She got a big girl bed as a combined birthday gift from all her grandparents and Mommy and Daddy! This is her first time checking it out.|
|The next morning we found her like this. :)|
|I think she likes it! And she has transitioned from the crib so well!|
|Kissing Chuck E. Cheese at her birthday party|
|Finding Santa presents in Alabama|
|Cousin Ellie, Daddy and Kinsley girl|
|Matching cousins by the tree (Dresses made by my amazing Aunt Jana!)|