Monday, November 1, 2010

This One's For You, Michelle....

...because I know you are always faithfully checking for an update on how we are doing. Thanks for getting me motivated to give an update.

Let's start with school. I was SO utterly frustrated the first few weeks of school because Emma's new school is so different from the last. First off, she takes the bus, so there is no communication between us and the school on a daily basis. Before, we had the opportunity to speak to Emma's teachers before or after school when we were dropping her off or picking her up. Losing that alone makes me feel really out of the loop like I know nothing that's going on. On top of that, the communication seems to be lacking in terms of school letters, calendars, notes sent home in Emma's agenda. We got a note in Emma's agenda everyday last year, whether it be how she did that day or upcoming events that we shouldn't forget about. This year, it's the odd note here and there. The teachers explain that sometimes they get too busy to be able to put notes in all the kid's agendas. I've not known about important things like hot lunches and school acitivities. Oh! And picture day. Let's just say I was pretty shocked when Emma came home with her school pictues a couple weeks ago. I didn't even know they had been taken! Needless to say, there will be retakes.

I really felt the only time we heard anything from the school was when Emma was in trouble. She has had her fair share of trouble this year. We've seen some regression in her behaviours, which I guess is expected with the huge change of going to a new school. I won't get into details as to what kind of trouble...nothing earth shattering by any means. The teachers just like to touch base with us to see if some behaviours are typical for Emma or not. Lots of the issues are ones we dealt with a couple years ago. It's a little disappointing to be dealing with them again, however it seems like they are being dealt with a lot faster than the first time around.

So like I mentioned earlier, I was really ticked off that things at this school seemed to be worse than the other school. Finally we decided to go in and meet with Emma's main teacher to see how things were going. I must say that I really like Emma's teacher. She has been working with special needs kids for quite some time and has alot of experience in different areas. She (of course) has never dealt with a kid quite like Emma. We seem to get that from every teacher/psychologist/doctor that we meet. But she told us she really likes Emma and unlike her last school, agrees that Emma's learning delays are more than a language barrier. She agrees with us that Emma would not be able to funtion in a regular classroom, so it's nice to know someone is on our side should our failing school system decide to integrate all special needs students into regular classrooms next year.

The teacher also went over things she was working on with Emma. Again we were impressed as she is working on things totally relevant to where Emma is at, rather than trying to force "regular" schoolwork on her like the last school. I have a lot of respect for this teacher and those who work alongside with her. There are some major needs that need to be met in their classroom, and they are totally patient and caring with the kids. seems things are going well at this school, I just needed to take some initiative and find out for myself.

Emma celebrated her birthday on October 9th. She's nine years old now...can't believe it! We had a small party...seems as time goes on Emma's friends become more few and far between. Breaks my heart. Another thing the school has given Emma is an outreach worker once a week to help her develop social skills and learn to deal properly in certain situations. We're hoping this will help Emma to learn how not just to make friends, but to keep them.

We took a couple of Emma's friends and family to a 3D movie followed by supper at McDonald's. Everything went fairly well, aside from Terry dropping Emma's Hannah Montana cake on the floor before I even got to take a picture of it! Emma was disappointed because Hannah Montana was all that she asked for and she was practically doing back flips when we picked it up that day because she was so excited. Terry had to run out and get a new cake and we improvised on the Hannah Montana!

A stunned Terry after he dropped the cake:

The smear the cake left behind:

Everyone still seemed to enjoy it:

Our makeshift Hannah Montana cake:

Last but not least, I'll share some Halloween pictures. I was able to go watch Emma's costume parade at school on Friday. She was totally excited that I was there. She misses the days of my volunteering and coming to see her at school, so she was pretty stoked when I came to see her. I was so impressed that Emma picked a costume other than a princess this year. She actually asked if she could be Superman. I explained to her that Superman is a boy, but she could be Supergirl, and we were lucky enough to find a Supergirl costume at Walmart. She totally loved it, pretending to be able to fly everywhere she went.

Trick or treating was fun yesterday. It's Emma's third Halloween in Canada, and I think this year she finally gets it. She's not so scared of the freaky masks and scary house decorations as she used to be. She gets that it's just pretend. She trick or treated hardcore for about an hour, until someone put a full package of gum in her treat bag. One thing about Emma, she is TOTALLY obsessed with gum. We don't give it to her very often, but when she does get it, it's like her whole world becomes perfect! So, once that full pack of gum was in her bag, she was done. She didn't want to trick or treat anymore, she just wanted to go home so she could check out her gum. Weird kid! Even when it came time to dig into all the treats, all she wanted was a piece of gum. We actually had to convince her to eat some candy before she ate a piece of gum! LOL!

My Supergirl:

At grandpa's house:

Who's enjoying the treats more? LOL!

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