Monday, April 29, 2013

Communication Issue

  I picked Ella up from school today and she didn't say a word to me just walked through the office and out the door. I caught up to her and she held my hand. I asked her how her day was and she started to sob and said "I get no recess and no snack." I got her to the van and began asking questions, "Did you get in trouble?" She says no. "Did your friends go to recess?" Yes. "Did you pull your card?" No. She just kept sobbing. Finally she said "Mrs Miller say big problem. I really sad." (Mrs. Miller is her special ed teacher.) Hmmmm. So I ask her again if she pulled her card (their form of punishment/warnings,) NO! So, I began to worry, and I became sad.

  I think that Ella speaks pretty well. I understand probably 99% of what she says and even if I don't understand a word she has ways of getting me to understand. However some things are hard for her to express. I don't know what it is. Something about trying to remember something, formulate the thought into sentences and get them out of her mouth??? I just don't know. For example EVERY SINGLE DAY after school I ask her how was your day? And EVERY SINGLE DAY I get "I play recess. Monkeybars." The end. Now I know kids do that, Hunter would talk about recess and lunch and PE in Kindergarten but then he would expand. It's just one of those little things that gets to me.

  So back to today. We get home and I check her backpack, no note. I check my email, nothing. So I call the special ed teachers desk, no answer. I call the gen ed teacher's desk, no answer. At this point I am on a mission to find out what happened. I figured that perhaps she got in trouble, (it's happened one other time this school year and they kept her in from recess,) but she doesn't ever get this upset about getting in trouble. I called the main line for Ella's school and told the secretary that Ella was really upset about something that happened at school today and I can't understand what she is talking about. Luckily Ella's gen ed teacher was standing right there.

  Apparently Miss Ella had a really rough day. It started with not sitting still and paying attention at circle, then taking her shoes off to show everyone her painted toe nails and refusing to put her shoes back on. Then she refused to leave circle time and go to her table and when she finally did go to the table she went under it and refused to get out. The list goes on, a lot of refusal and not focusing. So, when it came time for recess they had her stay in and work on something she hadn't done as well as practice getting up from circle time and go to her table. BUT she did get snack with the rest of her class : ) I thanked her teacher, they really are just so wonderful with Ella, and got off the phone and had a little chat with Ella.

I asked her what happened at circle time, she told me "I take off my shoes and show my friends my pretty nails." What happened when it was time to go to your seat, "I go under table." Etc. And this is what makes me sad. Not that she had a rough day (although it leaves me wondering because she had an awesome morning and has been great since we had our talk a bad day with her could mean poor sleep or that she is getting sick, or maybe she just didn't feel like doing anything who knows) but that she was completely unable to tell me what had happened until I had the actual information and could ask the right questions. What if someone had been mean to her on the playground and a teacher wasn't there to witness it. Would I ever know why she was upset? Does this get better with age as she communicates better and better? I sure hope so.

There aren't a whole lot of things that make me sad when it comes to Ella anymore (unless health related in which I think somethings are just so unfair!) But seriously this kid makes me proud on a daily basis, she overcomes so much just to do everyday things that we take for granted. She makes me laugh, A LOT, every single day. And most of all she brings me so much joy. But every once in a great while some thing happens that takes the wind out of my sails and today was just one of those days.

On a positive note we picked up Ella's new glasses today and they seem to fit great!!!!  Her other ones she had had for 2 1/2 years and were definitely getting too small!!  She is a hard girl to fit with her tiny facial features and different facial structure.  So far so good, they are staying up and of course she looks cute as can be in them!!!!  She really is so tolerant when it comes to things like that, I hate when I get new glasses or contacts, but not Ella she really is a trooper!!!


Mary said...

In all honesty I have the same concerns with Rex. Perfectly able to talk but its like pulling teeth. You are too used to Hunter detailing everything for you. That boy talks a lot :-)

Tam said...

I don't think I've commented before, but I just wanted to let you know that I used to have the exact same problem with my son when he was Ella's age, and still do to a certain extent and he is nine now. He does not have Down syndrome, but he did have trouble processing events and relating them to me. For his entire preschool year the only answer I got to how was your day was "the shopping trolley was there today, or the shopping trolley wasn't there today. Even now I will often have to re-phrase a question I have asked him because he is a very literal child and if the questions are not asked in exactly the right way he does not seem to understand what information we are asking from him. It is hard when your child is upset and you can't seem to get to the bottom of it, but at least you keep trying. I hope Ella has a better day tomorrow and gets to have recess.

Runningmama said...

Emily is only in pre-school and I am already noticing the same thing with her and you are right it is hard. I want to have meaningful conversations about her day but unless I know what they did and can ask specific questions, it's hard to pull the information out of her. You are a great mama, keep doing what you are doing. Love Ella's new glasses :-)

Tiffany said...

I agree, this is one of the toughest issues to deal with. I often wish I could just get inside Olivia's head...even for 5 minutes.

Tracy said...

Same thing with Rachel and she is nine. The only way I am going to find out anything about her day is by talking to the teachers. I have been the mom on the phone after school to find out what happened that day.

Lisa said...

Cate is first grade and we have that problem sometimes but it is definitely better the it was in kindy. She is more likely to give enough info that I can puzzle out the event but we also started having the para-pro bring her out at pickup so we I can get a clue of things. Like she loves to tell me she got 100% on her spelling test and it is usually true but sometimes it was really an 80%. If she gets anything lower she just doesn't mention it so I always know!