My SensiGirl goes to Extended School Year. She has been attending for the last two weeks. She gets an extra 5 weeks of school over the summer to try to maintain progress she has made during the school year. She attends school in the same building as her regular school year, for half days. In theory this is a good thing. This year, well, not so much.
Her kindergarten teacher worked to set up SensiGirl with the summer school special education teacher so she would know some of SensiGirl’s quirks. She worked with them for over a week and checked in on them to answer any questions. I updated and WunderTeacher proofed and added some things to the introduction letter I write to new teachers. I know that I wrote she is afraid of atria and echo producing places. I checked that the teachers and paras read it. I even gave them a copy of her IEP.
This week they took my SPD child to a drumming show in the atrium of the building. Just hearing about it made me cover MY ears. I explained that SensiGirl was nervous about the atrium because she had to participate in a parade with music and drums in the atrium two years ago. She has very sensitive hearing and is nervous about big echoing spaces. We made wonderful progress this past year on this issue, now I am not so sure where we stand.
I had told them after the drum show not to take her into the atrium for any other loud activities. The sound echoes and hurts her ears. Still, today they wrote a note: “Climb Theater will have a music presentation in gym. Do you want her to go?” The teachers told me there were other activities coming up: a visit from Ronald McDonald, (false faced creepy clowns, anyone?), a theater performance and field day.
My girl, who wouldn’t go near a gymnasium without a food reward in preschool was participating in adaptive gym every day in kindergarten. She participated in the Lion King play that the Autism Program put on. They had drumming for the scene changes, but she only covered her ears once, because of the off key singing. They had play practice every day for two months. That is how she was so successful. The problem is the new summer school teachers don’t seem to understand sensory processing disorder very well. Kindergarten was a hard transition but with WunderTeacher and the crew we got through the fall without too much progress being lost from her time at preschool. By the end of the year, great strides had been made by small incremental steps throughout the year.
She was crying about going to school, she became markedly upset at the merest mention of a gym, she was refusing to get out of bed and get dressed. This isn’t like her usual behavior at all. I talked with the ESY director and I took her out of school after two weeks.