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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It's a foregone conclusion Maddie will qualify for services, it's just a matter of what kinds of services we want her to have.
And that's where it gets a little sticky.
How much is too much and how much is not enough?
Normally, I would say there is no thing as too much, HOWEVER...
The three times Maddie has been to this preschool/developmental center, she has become a different child.
Different, as in, reverting back to orphanage behavior.
I think the sights, sounds and smells of this place remind her of where she spent the first four years of her life. And that's not good.
We went through something similar with Anya. About a year after we came home we moved to a new town and I had a hard time finding a home daycare provider, so I enrolled the kids in a big daycare facility.
A huge mistake.
Now don't get me wrong, I know not all daycare centers are bad. And this one wasn't bad in and of itself, but this one I should have known the minute I walked into the former high school, there would be trouble.

Sounds of crying children echoed down the concrete halls.
Smells of antiseptic filled the air.
Even the murals on the wall brought back memories of the babyhouse in Syk...
Anya had always had a strange reaction to authority. I've told you before of the horrible tantrums she would throw...meltdowns really, almost daily. By this point, they were starting to subside, and we were just catching our breath. We were starting to get to know the sweet, kind, generous Anya.
Unfortunately, that was all getting ready to unravel.
To say Anya did not react well to the new daycare is an understatement.
Something took over and by noon she was yelling 'NO' at the workers, bit some kids...hit others, screamed for an hour at the top of her lungs, threw things and in general was an absolute nightmare!
I don't think it was two hours before they called me to pick her up.
This went on every day for a couple of weeks, before finally, in desperation, I tracked down a home daycare provider who agreed to take the kids temporarily, until I could find something more permanent.
It was the worst two weeks of our lives.
And I don't want to relive it.
Granted...Maddie's personality is not anything close to Anya's old one. She is WAY more laid back.
I don't like the empty look that comes over her face when she walks in the door. She has made so much progress in the last few months, I can't stand the thought of putting her back in an environment, even for only a few hours a day, that reminds her of where she used to be.
The sad thing is...she likes it there. She cried when we left this morning. She wanted to keep playing with the other kids.
I know, I know. It's comfortable. It's familiar.

I don't want to subject her to ANYTHING that would even remotely remind her of the orphanage.
What are our other options?
It sounds like we can get services here in our home. That would be nice, and quite frankly it looks like my number one choice at the moment. But how many people would I have coming to the house each week...and for how long?
Then there's the whole academic thing.
Maddie is technically old enough to go to kindergarten next fall. She is NOWHERE close to being ready. Shad and I have already made the decision to hold her back another year, barring a miraculous change. But she's still going to need some help to catch up. I have working with her over the last eight months (Yikes! EIGHT MONTHS. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT! ;>), but all we've been able to master are her colors.
(With the move and everything else going on, it's been a little hard to focus on much more than the day to day language acquisition.)
There are still numbers...
writing her name...
using scissors...
The list goes on and on.

And then, there's the whole question of attachment.
Would putting her into preschool that reminds her of the orphanage, damage the already tenuous bonds of attachment we've formed?

I'm banking on Shad being available to come with me to the IEP meeting next week. I NEED him to help me wade through this mess.
Any of you have any thoughts?
Your help is definitely wanted.

sunflower seeds - help wanted

5 salty messages:

Tina in CT October 1, 2008 at 5:49 AM  

Oh my gosh, you have some big decisions ahead. Hopefully you both can go to the meeting together so that you can make your decisions. I can see where you are coming from with having Maddie in the school situation as you don't want to undo what you have worked so hard on. Hopefully the professionals will have a good plan for you to decide on.

Elaine October 1, 2008 at 6:43 AM  

Aaack! What a difficult situation! As far as helping her learn her letters, I know I sound like a broke record, but get the Letter Factory dvd by leap frog. All of my kids have loved it, and they don't thing about the fact they are learning stuff.

Courtney October 1, 2008 at 2:38 PM  

Tami, I'd love to chat on the phone. Do you have an evening that would be good? You can email me if you've still got my email address--otherwise just comment on my blog. :)

Christine October 2, 2008 at 4:50 PM  

Tami, you have a balancing act to do. Error on the side of forming a firm bond first and foremost and the rest will come later.

adoptedthree October 7, 2008 at 7:13 AM  

They came to our house and I also went to the center after hours. Might be something they can work out as not to overstimulate her.

Something else to think about is that she may need to begin that socialization outside of the house to get her acclimated. This is what the EI classroom is designed for.

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