I have started so many posts the past few years with the heading of “An Update on our Preemie” and never have time (or take the time, I guess) to finish them. So I thought I would share this letter I wrote to the principal and possible kindergarten teachers at the school he’ll be going to in the fall.
I can’t believe our little guy is 5.
So here is the letter, though incomplete and imperfect:
A. is a little lover with a grand imagination. He is a little different and very sweet.
He has an IEP and is coming from A.E. Preschool. He has some delays with motor skills (hitting all milestones late, but still reaching them) as well as some processing issues with some sensory and social situations. He was born three months early. Overall, he seems to be “catching up” to his peers, and placement in a “normal” kindergarten class makes sense for him.
A. is very fond of other kids. He cautiously walks up to a kid he’s never met, makes eye contact as though he is beholding a saint, then slowly makes a move to hug the kid. Often, he tries to follow with a kiss on the cheek. We have been working on this for years (he used to indiscriminately hug all kids without reading their cues, and regardless of their protests) and he has gotten MUCH better (he takes his time and reads their cues but heeds them only half the time), but still has work to do (kisses should only be for family; he needs to give others more personal space; he is working on trying to engage other kids in other ways– telling them his name, asking to play, etc.). If someone is hurt or upset, A. is right there wanting to comfort.
A. can read. He reads entire books by himself, occasionally asking us words like “persuade.” He seems to be at about a 2nd grade reading level.
He loves to make up stories. He loves music and dance. He loves acting out parts in little “plays.”
He is wildly uncoordinated and will need extra help if he is to engage in any kind of sport activity or game that engages gross motor skills. Unless he has persistent guidance, he won’t enter into a game involving gross motor skills, and will instead stand aside and enter into his own private world, which usually means narrating aloud a story he is making up. Or, he’ll talk to himself about stuff that’s happened in his life.
A. was in preschool (before attending A.E.’s Preschool program) with several of the other kids coming into kindergarten at P. this year. He has had some sweet friendships with some of them, and was bullied by some of them.
He is friends with C.P. (we live in the same building and they’ve known each other their whole lives). They love each other and play well together. Though, they would play even better if he could do a better job respecting her personal space and wasn’t always trying to hug and kiss her.
He plays well with I.E.– they were in preschool together when they were 2. They saw each other again on the orientation night a few weeks ago and they held hands a lot that night and were sweetly responsive to each other.
In preschool (age 3) he was bullied by C.M. and A.D. They were consistently mean to him, not letting him play with them or with their friends and always telling him to go away when he walked over to play.
In preschool (age 3) M.K. was nice to A. and they interacted well, though they really only parallel played together.
Dynamics with all of these kids could be very different now, but we were told it would be helpful to describe past relationships. Of course we can’t protect him thoroughly forever, but we would like to do everything we can to keep him from being bullied. A. is very trusting of other kids and is one of those kids who keeps coming back for more, keeps trying to engage, even when the kid is being mean. It doesn’t help that sometimes he intentionally annoys other kids just for the sheer joy of getting a reaction.
With no coaching from us, when he finds a stick he imagines it is a trumpet or fairy wand or drum stick, rather than a sword or gun.