On Friday mornings for the past month, I have been dropping Brady off at our Early Intervention childcare center at 9 a.m. to his Developmental Therapist Julie, and then picking him up at 11 a.m. He's had Circle Time, Snack, played outside with other friends, and done arts and crafts. He did his first project there, a big green shamrock with paint and glitter. This is a great program for him and a great sample of what's to come next October when he turns three and starts preschool.
He's had some good days, some bad days. We're getting to the more frequent bad days.
In the past, Julie has reported to me that he seems to get upset and startle with the kids. She was thinking the very bright hospital-like room and the other kids bothered him. I didn't buy it - Brady's been in lots of situations where there is a lot of kids and he is fine; in fact, he is very interested in watching them. My house is hardly a quiet one. I bring him to the store with me because he loves watching people and looking up at the lights. But there was definitely something not right, and I do believe Julie is a good therapist so I was ready to listen. We talked about starting up the brushing again to help in this sensory overload. I also made a note to make sure he had eaten a good breakfast since one time he was definitely hungry.
Brady's PT was at the school with him on Friday as Julie was out. When I came in to pick Brady up, I saw him sitting on Lisa's lap, head buried in her chest, almost asleep, with red cheeks. Not a good sign. She saw me walk in and said immediately, "OK, we need to have Tara (his OT) come and observe him, because he is definitely having sensory issues." As soon as I had left two hours earlier, he cried for awhile, then was fine, did great feeding himself, then when they went outside he freaked out, almost a panic attack, as Lisa described. I have NEVER seen him have any sort of anxiety issues, nor had my mother or Tom. Lisa acknowledged there was a new kid at school that day who cried off and on and that set Brady off. I know he is very sensitive to other kids crying, he gets upset for them. (What a sweetheart! :) )
Lisa said they are going to make some changes in the room, turn off one of the fluorescent lights, make a quiet reading area for the kids which will be Brady's quiet area too. But the biggest revelation was what Lisa thinks might set him off in the beginning: he misses me! She said a few times when I have gone to work and left him with her for PT at home with my mother, Brady has cried lately. And --duh!-- it is very common for 2-1/2 year olds to have separation anxiety from their parents -- WS or typical. We're always thinking about the WS factor in things, we forget about the regular stuff! I said Brady goes to others very easily, but Lisa pointed out I am usually there. Even though he has known Lisa almost his whole life, I am not there.
I never went through that with Michael. Michael was and is a very social kid, asking store clerks where to find things and asking other kids n the playground to play. At his first day of preschool it was "Bye, Mom!" I suppose if he was a little sad to see me go, I might have thought of that with Brady. It's nice to know Brady likes me!
I am hoping we will be able to soothe Brady and keep the playgroup and enjoyable experience for him. (Although it is nice to know that the consensus is he really likes me :) )