Just when I felt like I was finally used to the chaos of therapists in and out all day it was time for the transition to preschool. I was determined to be more educated about the process and what our options were. I attended a training workshop at a local organization for families of special needs children. It was very informative. I also managed to meet some parents who had already gone through the process and being able to talk to them was invaluable.
R. only had one day without services, and that was because we had scheduled a doctor’s appointment. She stopped ABA and ST on a Friday and started school on Tuesday. We brought her to the classroom the afternoon before she started. We went after class was finished and the teacher let her explore. When I dropped her off the next morning she ran inside the classroom as happy as could be. We’ve had no problems with drop off, it is amazing how happy she is to go to school.
She started taking the bus about three weeks after she started. We got the letter with the bus information a couple of days after the bus started showing up. So one morning as we are going out to the car there’s the bus. R. had a huge fit, she couldn’t understand why she wasn’t getting in the car with Daddy. I had to carry her screaming and kicking on to the bus. I planned to ride with her the first day, so I did and she cried almost the entire way. I talked to the teacher and she gave me a print out of a bus and a school. I also found a Fisher Price toy bus. The next morning we moved the car so it was out of sight. I started talking about taking the bus to school as soon as she woke up, I showed her the bus PEC, acted out getting on the bus with her little people and played “The Wheels on the Bus.” It worked. She willingly went on the bus and we haven’t had a problem in the morning since. Now all I have to say is “The bus is here. Time for school” and she stops what ever she is doing and comes running to leave. Once outside she runs for the bus with a grin.
I’m very pleased with how the teacher and aides work with R. I told them that her normal mode of operation is to have a tantrum on the floor when you try to get her to do something that she doesn’t want to do. After just a couple of days one of the aids told me that he had great success with saying R. up 1, 2, 3.
They also had trouble getting R. to transition to different activities. No surprise there. The teacher discussed with me how R. likes to clutch items and suggested that she use an actual object for R. to hold onto to transition from activity to activity. The teacher also plays the same song for the start of circle time and now R. will automatically go to the circle time area when she hears the song.
We do still have therapists coming into our home. The school’s ABA program is at home for an hour and a half each day. It took a few weeks to get into the new routine, but it is going well now.