Thursday, May 29, 2014

Good-bye Lions...

Today was the day.  My punkin horsie had her last day of Early Childhood education.  She got on the bus and strapped into her car seat and off the bus for the last time today.  I still can't believe that she's done.  I remember her first day like it was yesterday, she turned 3 on a Saturday and the following Monday she started school.  I cried along with her.  I was sad to be leaving all of her wonderful Early Intervention therapists to embark onto an adventure to an unknown school (for us).

I can't say enough good things about Juli's preschool.  She has progressed so much from the time she was 3 until now, and it is due to the wonderful therapists and her teachers.  Juli was blessed to be a Yellow Lion for the past 2 years and a month.  She was able to work with the same speech therapist and occupational therapist the entire time she went there.  She had the opportunity to work with 2 different physical therapists and both women were wonderful with her.  She had two different classroom teachers who worked very well with her, especially the one she had this year- she worked wonders with Juli!

Tonight, we went to Family Fun Night at Juli's school.  It's a night where you can bring your family (I bet you were surprised by that, right?) and all the teachers and therapists are there organizing a plethora of entertainment from bouncy houses, to face painting and tattoos, to a magic show, to the "Race to Kindergarten" for all the students going to Kindergarten.  My kiddos had a blast, and I was able to take pictures of Juli with each of her special people (except for her PT from last year- we couldn't find Ms Jackie or Ms Abby the TA).

This is Ms. Meghan, Juli's fabulous teacher this year.  In her class, Juli learned to write her name, count to 15, follow directions, & so much more.  She brought home so many papers with pictures that she drew and art projects she made that our art boards in the stairwells were constantly being changed out, because she was so proud of her work.  Every day she would come home bursting to tell me what she learned from Ms. Meghan.  Ms. Meghan, we wish you taught Kindergarten too, you are fantastic!
Ms Meghan
This is Ms Ryane, Juli's speech therapist.  We were fortunate to have Ms. Ryane for the past two years.  Ms. Ryane was great for Juli because she knew when Juli was trying to pull a fast one and get out of doing her speech work for that day.  Juli saw Ms. Ryane twice a week, and we would work on her speech homework every night (and will continue to do so over the summer).  With Ms. Ryane's help, most people can now understand about 80% of what Juli says when she talks to you.  Also, with Ms. Ryane's help, she will answer questions, instead of saying, "I can't know" a large amount of the time.  Juli still has a way to go speech wise, since she doesn't like to use "is", "the", "he/she", etc, but she has made big gains since starting preschool.  Ms. Ryane, we are going to miss you!

Ms. Ryane
This is Ms. Danielle, Juli's Physical Therapist for this year.  Last year, Juli had Ms. Jackie (we couldn't find her in the crowd of people, but she was fantastic too- trust me).  Ms. Danielle worked Juli hard.  Juli likes to "W" sit, and Ms. Danielle has worked hard on Juli's core to get her to stop "W" sitting.  We still catch her doing it from time to time, but it is not as frequent as it used to be.  Also, with Ms. Danielle, Juli achieved one of her goals that she is most proud of- hopping forward with both feet.  She is still working on hopping on one foot, but she is so very proud to be able to jump off the ground.  The day she came home from school and showed me that, we celebrated like it was her birthday.  Ms. Danielle, you rock!

Ms. Danielle
This is Ms. Karen.  Juli got to have Ms. Karen for the past 2 years, and she has brought Juli a long way, especially sensory-wise.  Juli can now focus in large and small group for longer than 2 minutes without being redirected.  She can cut with scissors in a straight line and follow along on a pattern fairly well.  She can also complete 2-3 step tasks with redirection.  I don't know what we would have done without Ms. Karen, because Juli would have been hopping from one activity to the next to the next.  We will definitely miss her next year as well!
Ms. Karen
I have to say, I was nervous sending my then, 3 year old, into this unfamiliar territory.  I am so glad that I did.  The girl who has emerged from there has changed so much and I have all of the amazing therapists and teachers to thank for it.  They work so hard at their jobs and they don't get much recognition.  And now, I have Kindergarten looming in the future and wonder what it holds for my girl.  What therapists will we meet on our journey this time?  Will they be as wonderful as all the ones we have had so far?  They sure have big shoes to fill...

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