Since I’ve been told my daughter is on the Spectrum I have been curious. Curious on how she would be treated, how she would fair in a regular daycare, how she would get along with other kids who aren’t on the spectrum. It is a fear of mine for her to be held back because of how delayed she is. But what people don’t see is how smart she is. She knows her colors, letters, shapes, how to count to at least fifteen. She can even count to ten in Spanish. She’s non-sociable with kids around her age only because she’s used to being around her older cousins. She is particularly hard to deal with for some people when it comes to them not knowing how to communicate with her. She isn’t that verbal and when she is, some people have a hard time knowing what she’s saying. This leads to meltdowns. I’ve been approached many times on how to deal with this when she does that, or how do I do this when she does that.
Well, some of my fears have come true. I found out a few weeks ago that she’s been held back in her daycare due to the fact that she’s still in diapers. Instead of being in the classroom with the 3 1/2 and 4 year olds, she’s in the classroom with the 2 year olds. Why had I not paid attention to this sooner? Well, with the high over turn in teachers, and the fact that she was moved around twice since putting her back in daycare a few months ago, had me thinking she was in her proper class. I did not find out she was in with two year old until I was signing her field trip form and it had what class she was in. I was not happy and even expressed this. Because I can’t get her to be fully potty trained, this causes a problem with the daycare she’s in.
This past week one of her specialist handed me a list of daycare’s to look at. These are daycare’s that have pediatric services. Daycare’s that have qualified teachers who specialize in areas for kids with special needs, such as Autism, down syndrome, delayed development, etc. I have checked out at least two of them on the list and one of them I like already. I especially like that it has proper security measures, such as a door you have to push a button to request getting in and press a button to get out. At my daughter’s current daycare you can just lean on the door and it opens without issues. This becomes a problem with me as my daughter is a runner. She has on a few occasions gotten right to the busy street before I catch her. I swear I lose five years off of my life each time she heads for that door.
Upon checking out one of them, the one that I like the most, I have seen so many things that would benefit my daughter and her sensory needs. For the past month she’s been giving everyone a difficult time due to the fact that she’s in need of sensory input and I just so happen to be picking her up after a few hours of her having a lengthy meltdown. No one knows what to do for her when she has a meltdown, nor do they recognize that she’s even having an meltdown or the fact that she’s requiring some sensory input. Instead, they put her off to a corner and tell her to play by herself. At the daycare I checked out the nurse giving me the tour showed me all kinds of sensory toys. Thinks for yoga balls, slides, trampolines, ball pits, special swings, you name it, they had it and my daughter will benefit from these items as I’m sure she’ll be using them on a daily basis. This will also help me when I come to pick her up, as she won’t be cranky and out of emotional balance.
This daycare also has a wonderful staff that I had the joy of meeting. Their classrooms were much bigger and situated differently than the daycare my daughter is in currently. I noticed immediately that I was in a classroom for children that require structure and stability, something that my daughter needs. Actually I think every child needs structure and stability. I was also told that she will be placed in a classroom with her peers. I think my heart leaped with joy when I heard that. There are a list of other things that I liked with this daycare, though I still feel the need to look at a few others before I make my final decision. I’m sure I’m already biased in picking which one I want her to go to already.
Oh my friend I can completely relate. Jonathan was a preemie and for his first 3 years (state cut off for services) he had physical therapy, occupational therapy, massage therapy and speech therapy. Even after all that I knew something was not right. Unfortunately I was on my own even with a husband because he was too busy having affairs to fully participate in his son’s life and all the therapies were left up to me to deal with. He filed for divorce when Jonathan was a few months shy of 5 years old and it was all I could do to keep my sanity with going back to school thinking it would help me get a job, trying to get through an ugly divorce and caring for Jonathan without knowing what to do or where to go to figure out what was going on with him. As it turned out, when he started 1st grade and I took him to his yearly wellness visit his pediatrician picked up on some things along with what I had to tell him and an appt. with a neuro-psychiatrist for testing was scheduled. After all was said and done with the testing and new therapies, etc. it turns out he has sensory processing disorder (integration), adhd (still questionable except being used as the insurance code so the therapies are paid for), and around the end of 1st grade or beginning of 2nd I figured out he also has a learning disability called dysgraphia and there are other physical issues to work through. It has been a long road of research to make sure he has the tools to be successful and the folks at his school (public school) have been so awesome in working with us to take care of what he needs to keep moving forward, despite his father’s attitude that it’s all a bunch of crap and recently making it clear that he won’t take him to anymore therapies.
There are a lot of resources on FB that can help you understand some of the behaviors your daughter has and show you you’re not alone. That is actually how I figured out he has dysgraphia in addition to the sensory issues. It has also given me the relief of knowing that other people deal with the same behaviors and getting ideas of things that might work to help him. If you need me to I can send you a list of pages I “like” to get info or you can just do a search for your specific diagnosis.
We obviously won’t love our kids any less but it’s a whole new level of parenting a special needs child and observing them and their environment more closely as well as dealing with people that have no clue. If you need anything, have questions or I can send you my phone number in email and we can talk through it all if you would like, I’m here to help. We special needs parents, especially us single mom’s, need to stick together. 🙂
Wow! Thank you for sharing your story. My girl has been diagnosed with mild Autism with hyperkinesis and also has sensory processing disorder and delayed development. Have you ever looked into therapeutic riding – hippotherapy – horseback riding therapy. My daughter does it and it helps her in her sensory input. Though you may check around where you live and ask if your son can be seen to be a candidate. I have written a few blogs about what it does for my daughter. I am still learning about what all to do for my daughter through the help of her therapist. They have helped me out immensely! I will be checking out more groups on FB here and there…hopefully something close by that’ll help refer a place I can take my daughter such as something relating to activities that would interest her or benefit her.
Good you are looking for hte right care, as it is so important for a young child like this that she get the best and the most out of it. I wish you success and hopefully a you will find a really good one!
Hey Jen I hear what you’re saying. Hit me up on facebook I can probably help you not so much with daycare some of the difficulties happening.
Will do…may take a few days though as I’ve been busy studying lol!
The day care sounds great and if you felt comfortable and reassured there then it will probably mean your daughter will too. =^.^=
I’m hoping so, thank you Bailey! 🙂