In all of the stress I’ve had over Cordy starting kindergarten this year, I’ve barely mentioned that Mira will be starting a whole new class as well. Actually, TWO new classes.
Last spring, Mira went for an evaluation with our school district to see if she should be placed in special needs preschool this year. There’s no chance this kid has autism – as the evaluation clearly proved – but her speech issues persist. She has speech apraxia, meaning that while she can hear and understand everything you say to her perfectly, she can’t say anything back to you perfectly. It comes out garbled with a lot less consonants than words should have. She’s made a lot of improvement, but her articulation has a long way to go.
Mira knows she is hard to understand, and it frustrates the hell out of her. Kids her age are supposed to be speaking in 3-4 word sentences, but this kid wants to speak in full monologues. She has an incredible vocabulary (when you can understand her) and her grasp of grammar and sentence construction is sometimes better than Cordy’s. You just don’t know what she’s saying, requiring her to repeat herself many times and often rephrase her statement using synonyms that are easier to pronounce. She’s got mad language skills, if only she was understood!
It was determined that Mira needed to be in special needs preschool this year so she could receive the speech therapy she needs. We had been taking her to private speech therapy, but after Aaron was laid off in May we had to drop it because we couldn’t afford the $115 per session. (The bill hurt only slightly more than the thought of cutting off such a vital service for Mira, but we decided she would probably rather keep a house to live in rather than speech therapy, so we went with that option.)
The best news was that Mira’s teacher will be the same wonderful teacher we had for Cordy. We’re thrilled, the teacher is thrilled, and Mira is thrilled. Even Cordy is slightly thrilled, as long as we take her to visit Ms. W. now and then.
However, the school district’s special needs team strongly encouraged us to also seek out a traditional preschool for Mira for the other half of the day. They pointed out that with a quick mind like Mira’s, she will need to stay stimulated and she might find special needs preschool a little boring. We took their advice, and so Mira will be spending the first half of her day at her current preschool before going to the public school for afternoon preschool.
On Friday, we were invited to a Meet the Teacher day at Mira’s current preschool. As we walked down the hall to find Mira’s new room, I quickly spotted her room (Fishies FTW!) but then saw who was waiting inside. It was the teacher Cordy had for after-care when she was in summer camp last year. The teacher who clearly didn’t think Cordy belonged in a typical-kid camp. This same teacher is now Mira’s preschool teacher. Eep.
Aaron and I gave each other knowing glances as we introduced Mira to the room. I’m still not sure how I feel about having someone who wanted nothing to do with Cordy teaching Mira, but I’m going to try to suck it up and give her another chance. I can already tell she and Mira will butt heads – they’re both strong personality types. Mira is a child that you have to sweet talk or flatter to get her to do what you want – simply demand for her to do something and she’ll give double the attitude right back to you.
Mira starts class tomorrow for her private preschool, and then starts her other school later this week. I can tell she’s already giddy at the thought of riding a school bus and being in a “real” preschool class. My baby is determined to grow up quickly, and I only wish she’d slow down a little.
I’m going to go cry in a corner now.