Saturday, August 23, 2008

Update on Ethan

A huge thank you to all who responded to me in the comments section as well as through e-mail. I have received so many responses and your care and concern for our little guy and for us really touches me deeply.

OK, here are the steps that we have taken and the information that we have ascertained thus far:

When asked about the four hour dirty face, the teacher told Marc that they have the children clean their own faces as part of the program and that she feels it counterproductive to clean after them. She feels it diminishes what they have done in their own eyes. Marc told her that he disagreed. For her to expect a child at this developmental age to keep their own face clean was probably not a reasonable expectation and that there are ways to help a child to become independent while still assisting them when needed. He told her that we expect that assistance for Ethan.

We have found that the reason that Ethan has come home each day this week without eating his snack is that he is sleeping so soundly during his nap that they allow him to sleep into his snack time. He is a "Champion Sleeper" and since nap and snack are the last two activities of the day we agreed to have him continue to sleep and give him his snack when he arrives home.

We asked for a conference, to which the teacher replied that she would like to wait until a couple of weeks after open house next week so that she can further assess his needs appropriately and therefore we can discuss the plan of action she has for him. We are definitely OK with that.

All of these negative feelings would most likely have been avoided if she had set up the meet and greet we requested before school started. I have little doubt that she is very good at what she does (I have had parents that have had their children in the program tell me that she is excellent) but it was important to Marc and I that Ethan have a certain level of familiarity when he began school on Wednesday. There was no reason for him to feel as afraid as he obviously felt. We have also spoken to two dear people in our lives who are teachers; one of whom teaches the exact same program in another school here in South Florida. Both felt is was inexcusable that this teacher did not hold a meet and greet orientation for the children that were new to the class.

We do plan to address that with her at our conference; if for nothing else that this does not happen to another family.

Now on to the positive news ~ Ethan is enjoying himself immensely. He is now happy to go in each day and greets his teachers with great gusto. We receive a report each day outlining what he does and the teacher asks us for feedback each evening regarding his activities so that she is alerted to anything that may effect him the following school day. We really like that type of communication. Best of all; he has been there all of three days and he is engaging us more than he ever has and making himself understood in many more situations. That has us very excited to say the least.

I know in my heart that everything is fine. I am so happy to be able to have this forum to express myself. It is important to bounce our feelings off of objective friends who will tell us the truth. You affirmed what I already knew; that it was not just OK to advocate for Ethan but in fact it is our mandate as his parents.



Michelle said...

Lori - after hear that you have talked to the teacher she does sound like she has good intentions. As you mentioned all of your uneasiness could have been avoided if there was a meet and greet or at the very least a 'letter from the teacher'...where she explained what to expect.

The most important thing is that Ethan seems to enjoy his time there.

In Ohio we have 180 days so three down means 177. Good Luck.

Tammie said...

So glad to hear that things are progressing for Ethan. I know that he will eventually make his voice heard in the school setting.

Diana said...

Ok..I feel much better now:)
Thanks for the update as Ethan has been in my thoughs the last few days.

Beverly said...

glad to hear he is enjoying himself.

Vivian M said...

I agree there should have been a meet and greet. We have one scheduled on Wednesday, and the teacher gave us a four page questionaire to fill out going over anything and everything we could think of. Maybe with your feedback this teacher will incorporate this next time?
Glad to hear things are better for Ethan at school. I think he will do wonderful!