The Daughter Chronicles

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Mia's day at school

On Tuesday, 31 January, I hung out with Mia at school. I had never done it for the whole two-and-a-half hours, so I was curious, and I wanted to check on her physical therapy, since I mentioned that her PT changed the configuration on her gait trainer and I wanted to see if the one at school was still okay for her. Krys is taking the week off before she starts a new job, so Norah wasn't an issue, and I got to sit in class and observe. The teacher was nice enough to let me take pictures, so here's a photographic journey through Mia's day.

The first thing the kids do is sit in circle time. There they say hello and discuss the day of the month and the day of the week and the weather (that's a hard one - I think we're at 107 days without rain). Their teacher, Miss Libby, goes around with the microphone and says hello to all of them and they say hello back. These microphones are pretty cool - we have one here. They're simply echo chambers, but they work pretty well. Mia digs them. Here she says hello (well, "HI!" because that's one of the very few words she says consistently).
 
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They also count the kids in circle time. Miss Libby asked them who wanted to do it, and they all raised their hands but, crucially, did not keep their mouths shut, which is a pre-condition for counting the kids. Mia raised her hand and kept her mouth shut (see above), so she got to count the kids. Here she is being helped around the circle by Miss Libby.
 
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Circle time also means singing time! Mia likes songs, and she likes making the hand motions with the songs. She's very good at "Itsy-Bitsy Spider." I can't remember what song she was singing here, but she was hitting her thigh because the kids were "walking" somewhere.
 
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After circle time the kids choose where they want to go play for a bit. Mia chose the "house" so she and three of her fellow students went to the area of the room with the kitchen implements and homey things. The three other students (all boys) wanted her to wear hats. I was kind of surprised that she kept them on for as long as she did - Mia is notoriously not fond of hats. The boys are very funny - they kept saying "Mia hat!" and offering her hats. This isn't the greatest picture because I was hiding behind a shelf so she wouldn't see me.
 
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They also gave her a tiara. One of the boys wanted to wear it, but Mia was having none of it!
 
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Then Mia was off to physical therapy! Her gait trainer at school is metal, so it's heavier than the one we have, but that's okay - she's tough and can take it! It's also higher than I remember, so it's not that much of an adjustment from the newer position at home and that one. She worked very hard at PT and did some good walking. Her PT (behind her in the picture) was a bit concerned with her clonus that she gets in her gait trainer, but I told her that her home PT isn't that worried about it. She seems to experience it much more at school than at home, though, so I could understand her concern. I have to bring it up next week when her PT shows up here.
 
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After PT, it was back to the classroom, where the kids played while the aide changed them. Mia was in this chair for some time, and she sat very well. This time of the day depressed me, because the teacher only has one aide and he was off changing the kids. So she had to run around making sure six kids weren't tearing the place up and had to ignore Mia for a while. Mia was perfectly happy, but I was sad because she couldn't get up and tear the classroom up with the rest of the kids. But she played with the puzzle (in the second picture) and seemed to enjoy herself.
 
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Then it was on to snack time! The kids, of course, dig snack time. Mia sits at the head of the table because, well, she rules! Here she asks for something on her AugCom device - presumable cookies, because who doesn't like cookies?
 
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Finally, the kids headed out to the playground. Watching three-year-olds play is fascinating, because they don't play together. They're each in their own world. I mentioned this to the grandfather of one of the students, and he said when his grandson goes to the park, the five- and six-year-olds play together, but not the three-year-olds. It's interesting. Mia, of course, can do little but go on the swings, but she digs going on the swings! Here she is with her speech therapist. I stayed out of the playground, which is why she's so far away.
 
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So that was Mia's day at school. She had a fun time, and I liked observing her. I hope to be able to visit both the kids when they're in school, because I think more parents need to be involved in their kids' education. It's always good to know what your kids are doing in school!

4 Comments:

  • Hi Greg,
    Dubya here. I loved helping at Keegan's preschool and then kindergarten class. Unfortunately I had to go to work full time when Keegan started 1st grade. But I really enjoyed observing how he interacted with other kids. I agree that every parent should try to take a day once in a while to go to school. It benefits the
    child, the parent and the teacher.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/2/06 8:50 AM  

  • Hey Greg,

    Do you pay for Mia's school? Or do you get grants from somewhere? I know PT is notoriously expensive.

    By Blogger Chance, at 4/2/06 1:40 PM  

  • Chance - kids who qualify for special education here in AZ go to the public schools for free starting when they're 3. The PT is included with the school - she only gets 30 minutes of it once a week, but that's fine.

    She has a private PT who comes once a week. We pay for this with her money - since she was in a car accident, the insurance paid her a chunk of change and she now has more money than we do. The state won't pay for it because she has too much, so we have an account that the court set up to pay for therapy and medications for her. We're actually lucky that way - I know a lot of kids rely on the state or other means, and they might get screwed. We pay for pretty much everything ourselves, so we cut through the red tape.

    By Blogger Greg, at 4/2/06 2:06 PM  

  • Greg forgot to mention that our private insurance covers quite a bit--usually about 13-15 sessions of each type of therapy per year. You can usually petition to get the insurance company to pay for more if the condition is chronic, but I only had luck with this with one insurance company--United Healthcare.

    By Blogger Krys, at 5/2/06 8:44 PM  

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