He was really shy at the school. It took him a while to talk, but he came around. At one point he even wanted the psychologist to keep her arm around him. At first they were saying that he wasn't really eligible because he didn't have any educational deficits. They even canceled the speech evaluation because he clearly didn't have any speech issues. The only area they were concerned about regarding his vocabulary was that he could not or would not answer when, what, where, & who type question like "What is Humpty Dumpty sitting on?" or "What does the bunny like to eat?" and "Where do you go to buy food?"
They noted his rigid thinking and told me to work on that with him as well. I have heard of rigid thinking, but I didn't realize that always acknowledging him when he wants us to look at something was part of that. They noted that he needed a lot of control and we had to curb that. It's going to be really hard to do, but we will do our best to do as they have instructed. We just thought he was it was normal and part of the stage we lovingly (and exasperatedly) refer to as the "Me Do Stage". This is a term we coined when Brianna was little and started wanting to do everything for herself. They observed what they and the doctor called "OCD like behavior." Having to do things a certain way. Having to have things in a certain order. For example, they played with the nesting bowls. If they took them apart one by one he would only put them back together one by one, but if they took them apart in threes, he put them back together in threes. They played with shapes from the new candy land game that you put shapes on a Ginger Bread man that has cut outs of that shape. One one side of the shape they had written the name of the school in sharpie to keep them together. Jamie always had to have them up in the same direction. All the words had to be up or none could be up. When he wasn't looking they turned one over to see if he'd notice and he noticed immediately and fixed it.
They talked about how smart he was. They seemed really impressed with his writing when I showed them. They said that I had done an amazing job teaching him. I told him that I didn't do it. Jamie learns on his own and does everything on his own terms. He just lets me in sometimes. I told them that my biggest concern was that I didn't know how to teach him. I can't even imagine what all he might be able to do if he did. I told them how he seems to learn big things over night. We don't even realize that he knew certain things until he blurted something out one day. They said that they suspected he knew things for a while, but he wouldn't share until he knew he had whatever it was perfect. That's why it seemed he came out with amazing skills instantly. He has been perfecting that skill over time in secret.
They kept saying that they didn't think he would qualify, but then they started talking amongst themselves about ways they could get him in. I don't know how they finally figured it out, but they gave us paperwork to fill out and said that they had a few 4 year olds that just left and they had space. He would be on a waiting list, but they'd be able to get him in fast, but we should hurry and get the paperwork to them. I've got to call his pediatrician and get one form filled out, otherwise we would have it all done today.
I almost cried, though, when they asked him if he wanted to go to school there. I felt tears well up in my eyes and I laughed and told them, "What are you going to do if I cry when he starts school?" They said that on the first day they have boxes of tissues available and they're used to lots of tears. When they learned that my niece, McKalah, was there they took us on a tour of sorts and took Jamie to see her. She was out in the "bike yard" where her class was riding tricycles. They were excited to see each other and Jamie was disappointed he couldn't stay. Everything we passed he said he wanted to do. "I want to paint", "I want to play music", "I want to swing". He wanted to start school today.
They have parent volunteers and you can bet your last dime that I'll be volunteering. I'm happy that there is an opportunity to be involved, but I have mixed emotions about him going. I never really thought I would send him to preschool. I want to be with him. I thought I had one more year just the two of us. I'll miss things. Every single day he says and does things that I don't want to miss out on. I'll miss a lot when he's at school. I don't know these people I'll be entrusting my precious boy to. On the other hand, I know he will have a wonderful time and that he really wants to go. I guess this is the best thing, but I can't help but worry.
After we left, to cheer him up that he didn't get to stay, Matthew and I took Jamie to the playground. He had fun, but wanted to know where the other children were. The place was empty. I told him that they were at school. He said, "They'll be here soon?" Poor kid.
After the paperwork is done we'll call and set up an appointment. His doctor's office promised to have the forms filled out and faxed to us within 24 hours. The preschool will do a short evaluation of him and then I guess he'll start school. I'm not sure how quickly that happens. I have a feeling that nobody is ever going to give us a flat out diagnosis and that's okay. Maybe after some time in school he won't even have any issues. I don't really know.