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I told Noah's preschool that we were dropping his enrollment back down to three days a week. And that no, we would NOT be taking advantage of the whole $50 early-bird re-registration option for next year, thanks. And then I reminded them that my account should have a credit for the cost of the after-school soccer program. You know, the one they kicked him out of.

It felt...ugh. Yeeshh. Uhggzzzaaaaa. I can't seem to spell the sound I'm making right now.

It felt like...colossal failure? Maybe? Not by Noah, of course, but by us, for making such a poor decision about his school in the first place. And by them, for telling me when I registered that they were familiar and capable of handling Noah's needs, and then proceeding to be unable or unwilling to make ANY allowances or adaptations for him. (Seriously. Kicked out of a soccer class for three-year-olds. Because apparently the point of the class is to really learn the rules of soccer and how to dribble and pass properly and Noah...wanted to run around the room? And kick the soccer ball wherever he wanted to kick the soccer ball? Dear Lord, you'd think he was still TWO, or something.) By all of us, since the year started out so promising and I can't figure out who is expecting too much and who is selling him short or if it's just a mess of All Of The Above.

His teacher never fails to tell me that oh, Noah reminds her SO MUCH of her autistic son and you know that thing he's doing right now is classic PDD and not just SPD and he doesn't talk to other kids and still won't sit for circle time and basically consistently paints such a bleak picture of him that lately I can't even deal with it -- I run into the classroom, shove his arms in his coat and hightail it back to the car.

We're doing our best, I tell her. I've taken him for evaluations, I'm on the waiting list for more evaluations. I've read books and websites. We've changed his diet and our discipline techniques and we talk talk talk talk talk to him all the time about what is expected of him at school. No, the school district hasn't called us yet. No, our insurance hasn't given us the green light for speech therapy yet. I'm not trying to hide from scary truths and I'm not trying to seek absolution for parenting shortcomings in the form of a handy-yet-squishy diagnosis. I'm just trying to parent a boy whom I love more than life itself, who day by day becomes more and more of a mystery to me, because I just don't have any answers.

At home, he is wonderful. He is funny and verbal and affectionate and imaginative. He loves music and books and being loud and being tickled and chased and stomping around the house like a dinosaur, or humming the Peanuts theme while dragging a blue blanket behind him "like Linus." He tells us he loves us, asks nicely when prompted and never fails to say thank you. He can tell us when he's sad or scared and remembers that he rode on Daddy's shoulders when we saw the fireworks last summer. We watch him at home and scrunch up our foreheads because doesn't he seem fine? He's fine, right? What the hell?

***

He is also a little ticking time bomb of meaningless routines that we're constantly trying to avoid disrupting. Don't try to put his coat on anywhere but by the front door. Don't serve that kind of juice in that kind of cup. When one of these routines is ignored, a switch gets flipped.

I tried to take him to the playground after school on a rare warm weather day, and while I told him where we were going and prepped him with some social stories about waiting for a turn on the swings and having to go home when Mommy says so...I forgot to warn him that I would be taking a right turn off our usual drive home. I made the turn and he screamed. And screamed. I pulled up to the playground -- a playground he's been to, a playground I swear we've driven to -- and I pointed at the slides and tried to calm him down and he screamed and screamed and screamed. I tried to get him out of the car and he kicked at me and screamed some more. My face burned as I felt all the heads in the vicinity turn to look at us. Mothers, nannies, some random landscaping guys. I tried to hold him and quiet him and tell him that everything was okay. His eyes darted around in terror and his body was stiff. He screamed even louder, and Ezra's face crumpled in his carseat and suddenly I had two hysterical children and Noah started repeating that he wanted to go home, over and over again.

I gave up. I drove home. I begged him to tell me what was wrong. I begged him to look at me. Are you scared? Are you sad? He wouldn't answer, except to say that he wanted to go home. We are home, I said. Mommy brought you home.

No, he said. I want to go home. I want to go home.

Okay, I said. Go home.

And then I went into the bathroom and shut the door and stared at the mirror with a baffled look on my face, because seriously. What the hell?

***

As hard as it's been to accept the fact that hoo boy, did we ever fuck up the preschool choice this year, that letting him graduate from the early intervention system was a huge -- YOOOOGE! -- mistake, the hardest thing right now is to accept that oh God, we have so many more choices to make, and what if we screw up again? The clock is ticking and time is critical and preschools need application fees and deposits and would we get those deposits back if he ends up qualifying for public services? If he doesn't qualify does that mean he should really stay mainstreamed? Or should we just pursue a private special needs school, even though I have NO IDEA how we'd ever pay for it? They cost more than my college, and we have Ezra now, and he'll need school too, and who knows what will be best for him and OH MY GOD, who the hell ever put ME in charge of raising TWO human beings?

Every day, I drive by a Montessori school that has offered Noah a space for next year. They need to know our decision in two weeks. I look at it -- a lovely school, with multi-age classrooms and no circle time and lots of one-on-one activities and Noah would be free to fixate on whatever he fixates on and I know a lot of sensory kids do really well with Montessori -- and then my chest tightens and I have trouble breathing because what if it's not right either? What if we're still where we are now next year, with a school that has essentially written our son off as just too special needs, as just not their problem, even as the school district punts us back into the mainstream because Noah doesn't meet their standards either? What if what it what if aeeeeeeiiiiiii.

I haven't had an anxiety attack since before Noah was born, I told Jason the other night. But now I'm getting them practically every day when I pick him up from school.

It's just because we don't know, he told me. At some point we'll know. We'll get an evaluation that actually looks at everything, not just speech or this or that. Then we'll know what we need to do.

And then Noah wandered in with his teddy bear. This is Corduroy, he said. He lost his button. Jason didn't say anything, but swooped them both up and held them tight.

***

For now, what I think Noah needs is a couple days off from school and circle time and expectations that he just cannot meet right now, for whatever reason. Mornings where he can eat Cheerios in his jammies and not worry about someone trying to put his coat on in the living room instead of the foyer. Yes, he needs socialization (believe me, I'd yank him out of the school completely otherwise) but I also think he needs a chance to relax, to be his little quirky self to his heart's content.

A couple days a week where he can stay where things make sense, with a person who -- despite all her worry and hand-wringing and total lack of qualifications -- looks at his face and still sees nothing but infinite ability and possibility.

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Comments

Rachael

I'm so sorry that your'e going through this, that you're second guessing yourself because maybe you should have made a different decision. Try to breathe and take things as they come. He's obviously a smart kid, and amazing. Maybe you can try the Montessori school. It might not be a good fit, but what if it is? Good luck!

Jennifer

We fucked up a preschool choice too and I beat myself up about it, but we switched him and after a few months it was like the whole thing had never happened. It seems huge at the time, but it's really not that huge once it's fixed. Of course, I was also worried that the new school would be a bad choice and we'd have to try again, but it ended up working out.

Here's what I would do: Set up an appointment to speak to the head of the Montessori school (or whatever school you are interested in) and go WITHOUT CHILDREN. Explain EVERYTHING. See if they can handle it. Ask them SPECIFICALLY how they would handle certain situations.

It doesn't sound like Noah is very happy where he is. He is probably not being traumatized for life or anything, but it would probably be a lot easier for everyone if he were in a school he enjoyed more.

Helen

I haven't read any of the other comments because there are over 200 but this is my 0.2c.

Madhu

all i know is..you come across as a great mom. You're doing your best and that is what ur kids need.

Hope u find a school for Noah that is right for him.
meanwhile...it is OK to make mistakes. and seriously...does this even qualify as a mistake...the preschool thingie? u took the best decision in the given circumstances. Hugs to u and ur family.

Helen

I haven't read the other comments because there are over 200 but here is my opinion
( for what it's worth!)
Noah is a BABY...this hwole preschool thing is so out of hand, it's not so long ago our babies could be babies until they started school. At 5 or 5 or whenever.
I have shared with you my Isaac, he is now 7. At 4..FOUR he couldn't say a word, he hid under blankets, he did not look at anyone but me and daddy. He screamed if anyone looked at him, he stared blankly ahead if anyone spoke to him.
He is now 7 and yesterday I spoke with his teacher ( in a main stream school) who said that he is brilliant, he has absolutely NOTHING going on that effects his education. He speaks to the people he needs to speak with, he learns well, he is glorious.
He is still quirly at home, he hates people looking at him, he gets dressed and ready for school whenever he wakes up, which is 1am very often, if he wakes to pee, he gets ready for school and he will sleep in the front room with his shoes on to make sure he isn't late for school.
He is unique and he is brilliant and above all, he is happy.
His therapy has included speech therapy..the rest? He has been loved and accepted, throughout his chool life so far he has been loved and accepted, no expectations other than he goes to school. He has been allowed to sit in a corner with a blanket over his head ( where he heard every single thing the teacher was saying and remembered it)HE has been allowed to sit OUTSIDE the classroom near the open door and peek in, rather than have to walk into the classroom that already has kids in it ( he has to be first in the room, he cannot walk into a room that is filled with kids in case they look at him, so he is allowed to sit outside and then creep in, on his belly of needs be, an inch every 2 minutes until HE is ready to sit in his chair.
He did not change for, of join in P.E for 2 years, no-one said a word, after 2 years he went to school and without a word changed for P.E and joined in.
I am so grateful for this school that just loves the children for who they are, this school that just accepts each child for what they are and adapts to the child.
If I were you ( and I was) I WOULD take Noah out of pre school, I would let him stay home and feel safe and I would meet up with other moms in the day and allow Noah to be near them and ignore them if he chooses to.
I did just that with Isaac, we met up every week for lunch and playtime, Isaac ignored those other kids for over a year, then one day he sat at their table to eat ( still didn't look at them or speak to them at all) A few weeks later he was playing next to them. I love those other moms who listened when I said " can you ignore Isaac, don't speak to him or look at him unless he comes to you first?" and they did just that and imagine the joy when after a year he stood next to one of them and said her name!
Come children are just so overwhelmed with life in general and I get that, I so understand how great it would be to shut it all out.
I put myself in Isaac's head and when I did that it was so easy to see what he needed and really, all he needed was to be a baby a little longer than most babies.
Last week he went bowling witha friend from school...without ME, no-one to speak for him ( because he still has selective mutism in a lot of situations) I watched him run away from me and go with his friend and be a part of a group of children, just like a regular kid....and I didn't know whether to laugh or cry because it is such a miracle.
I can't stand that people have written Noah off at TWO!! WTH?
Let him be a baby, let him be the perfectly splendid boy that he is and I guarantee he will show you just how splendid he is and before long the rest of the world will see it too, and if they don't, they don't deserve to have him near them. Keep looking until you find a place that looks at your boy and gets him, he will probably never be just like the other kids and guess what? That is just about the most perfect thing you could hope for.
Please email me helenwith6@aol.com if you ever want to know more about just letting him be who he is, I swear that it is only that decision that has enable Isaac to be as happy as he is.

Nikki

I am not a mother. And to be honest, I have no real desire to be one. But it truly warms my heart to see how much you love your kids, and how you will stop and nothing to get the best for them.

How wonderful that whatever hurdles Noah may have to deal with, he will always know that he has a safe secure home and the uncompromising love of parents.

Justine

I really wish I could give you a hug right now... I also think you need some time out in your jammies in the safety of your own little world.

Remember whatever happens, you give Noah one of the most important things a child could have - unconditional love. If more people and children got that, the world might be a better place.

Chin up - I'm rootin for ya!

MiniHipster.com

kicked out of soccer class? that is RIDICULOUS! Why is there so much pressure placed on young children to perform to such extremes? we are young for such a short period of time and oh, that time should be FUN!!!

Also, I bought a book called "Additive Alert" which shows the reaction children can have to some additives and preservatives in food. This book will shock you! You will be surprised what is put into some foods and how it makes children react. Worth a read....... take care and dont worry about your son. YOU know he is a gem x

Alana

I know you HATE the autism word because of the teacher and the "it sounds like" diagnoisis BUT I have to say ASPERGER'S

My boyfriend is STILL easily flustured has MAJOR food issues STRONGLY prefers routine and becomes flustered easily he was officially diagnosed at 19

SO again cherrio to your early intervetion as a mom and go ahead and hate me for giving assvice but I truly have your best interest at heart.

Carry on and ignore me now

DeannaBanana

While I have little to offer in the way of preschool suggestions as my son is fifteen and he was Noah's age so very, very long ago, I raced down here to comment before even browsing the others, so I am sure this is a repeat, but still: Do ALL of you a favor and take Noah out of his current school. You don't need the anxiety AT ALL, he is surely picking up on that as well as being somewhere that is obviously not the best place for him and his teacher sounds like a complete douche-bag. You poor, poor girl. And I know you don't want platitudes, but, still. You poor, poor girl. Be assertive with the douche-bag and tell her to blow her opinions out her ass. And then take him out. Or maybe take him out first...lol. YOU get to choose what is the best preschool for your son. And yeah, maybe you'll choose wrong again, and that is why there are a bajillion choices available to you, so you can choose something different after that if need be. --I say try Montessori and see how it goes, having heard such awesome things about it. Hope for the best and just try it. Without feeling the burden of possible failure. Instead, focus on the fact that you are trying to do what is best for Noah-because this WILL sort itself out. He is still just a babe, he will navigate his way through this, with the help of people who love him and who stand up and take notice.

Errr...sorry for the book.

Laura

Hi. I wanted to tell you that Melody posted on 5 minutes for special needs today and you might want to read her entry. It isn't very long. It won't fix things, but you'll know you aren't alone. http://www.5minutesforspecialneeds.com/

Michelle

Gosh.. Noah and Ezra look so much alike in the face.

Everything will be fine. Find the right doctor and get a proper evaluation, and things will progress from there.

Stephanie

I don't usually comment, but this post was just so moving. At times, I felt like you were describing scenes identical to ones I've had with my daughter. Other times I just thought, "Wow. She must be so strong to handle that." I know you often don't feel like you're handling it at all, but believe me, you are. You'll figure it out eventually. I don't know how I would react if my daughter's caregivers said the kinds of things Noah's have. I suspect I'd get her the hell out of that environment, though, and say the socialization can wait until we find a new spot at a school where she can be who she is. Maybe that's what Noah needs: a place where he can be himself so he can start socializing and following group rules on his own terms.

Krista

Your post moved me to tears because, although the particulars are different, Noah's story remind me of my nephew. He was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome when he was in elementary school (1st or 2nd grade, I believe). He, too, requires forewarning of any impending changes. Deviations from schedules would over-excite him. Instead of crying and screaming, though, he'd rock and wave his hands in a silent frenzy.

While Noah may not share my nephew's diagnosis, your heartache and fear echo the emotions in our own family, especially those experienced by his parents.

Hang in there. You're good parents and Noah's lucky to have you on his side. ~hugs~

cagey

First, the whole soccer thing royally pisses me off. I have never, EVER seen 3 year olds play an organized sport in anything that remotely resembles an organized manner (that was always half the fun of attending my brother's T-ball games and years later, my nephew's soccer games - watching 3 year olds run around haphazardly with no rhyme or reason is HILARIOUS. Even at 9am on a Saturday whilst hungover. Heh.) Anyway, that is not even the POINT of the sport at the age of 3. The point is to just get the kids out there, to get them started.

Second, I don't see where you have failed Noah in the least. You and Jason are consistently looking for answers and options. When something doesn't work, you keep trying. That's parenthood in its element. You and Jason are most certainly stepping up to the plate.

Third, the teacher is irritating and probably out of line. It does sound like she is trying to make a diagnosis and that is NOT her job. My nephew's teacher was not allowed to make any sort of comments about whether he may or may not have been autistic - my sister finally asked point-blank and only at THAT point, was the teacher allowed to say that she thought an evaluation should be done. I don't believe it was an actual legal/liability issue, but just standard rules type of thing. Anyway, the teacher is OUT OF LINE, you are correct for being upset. The sad thing is that she probably thinks she is helping, when in reality, she should know better!

dksramsey

Take a step away from all of this, and understand that you are only a mom doing the best she can at every given moment. We all make mistakes, with life, with kids, with friends etc. You are going to get over this hurtle, and Noah is amazing. In so many ways he is normal, and lack of understanding/compassion you get as support should never change how you look at that beautiful baby boy. It is going to be better than ok, it is going to be wonderful.

Karen

I'm so sorry, Amy. I hope you get your answers soon because I can only imagine the infinite ways that this uncertainty is killing you. Hang in there. I truly believe that sometime soon you will find the person who gets it -- the person who looks at Noah and SEES Noah, and then helps you find the path that is right for all of you. It will just take that one person and she or he is out there.

dksramsey

Ps - who ever said a 3 yr old should be ready for school? REALLY! I did not go to school or any kind until I was like 5 1/2 and only at that time did I step in at a part time level, and I went on to univeristy, have a great job and lacked nothing. Maybe it is time to look at this differently, maybe Noah needs more down time on a longer term basis. If school sucks pull him completly, regroup and know that 4 months less of pre school -- in the grand picture, it is NOTHING! Plus look at the money you could say for some therapy!!! re-direct that money you are spending on something that is not working for something else that could work better ;-) I am always a fan of looking at things differently -- and sending you a big fat mommy hug.

PaintingChef

Oh Amy. I can't imagine anything scarier or more difficult. And I don't have any children so I have no clue what you are going through. But I do know this. You and Jason KNOW and LOVE Noah and so I think you will make decisions based on love and the fierce desire to do what is best for him and for your family. Take deep breaths, hug him lots and don't let people pressure you into something that your gut tells you isn't right for him. He is an AMAZING little boy and you will find his place.

Kristin

So hard.
On one side he's only 3 and just had a baby brother and 3 year olds are emotional and odd and learning. But I know that feeling of "what if we don't do anything now and then regret it later" is really hard as a parent. I wish you the best of luck and the belief that things work themselves out and love does alot of good. Keep doing what your gut tells you and keep fighting for him.
My thoughts are with you.

Eden

Oh Amy,

I've so been there. All I can offer is to tell you to keep doing exactly what you are doing and not dwell on guilt. My son at 3 was a lot like Noah. His preschool teacher told me he required a 1:1 aide if I wanted him to stay because he required too much teacher attention. HA!! Today he is almost 5 and functioning very well in a regular Pre-K with a focus on discovery and free exploration. He has grown soooo much in the last 18 months and learned to cope using fewer and fewer oddities. Life is not perfect, he got thrown out of swimming lessons yesterday, but he's so much better than I ever could have imagined he'd be at this age. Help him every way you can, love him unconditionally and the gift of time and maturity will help too.

Heather

I get the frustration and the feeling of failure. My son has been diagnosed ADHD, but I wonder, he seems to be worse lately even with the pills. I wonder if I did the right thing breaking down and putting him on the meds after trying so many other things. I wonder if it is something else and he is suffering because of it.

Jennifer

Hi,

I've never posted before, 'cause I'm sort of older and my boys are sort of older so it never really seemed like I had anything relevant to add to the conversation. But here's the thing, I see a lot of my kids in your kids. Especially since Ezra, they seem so familiar. So, if this helps at all--my boys are wonderful and quirky and smart and funny and we've tried all sorts of things and some worked and some didn't. We seem to need more "time off" than other people I know, but staying home and eating cheerios in our jammies every once in a while is completely do-able--and fun.

Some of your entries bring back uncomfortable memories, but I don't really want to forget all of that. Well, maybe I would like to forget being told that my son wouldn't fit in this wonderful preschool that I had my heart set on or all the times I had to carry a thrashing child away from some event or errand. But, no, they are my stories and I get to tell them now. Most of them are really pretty funny, with some time and distance.

Chin up,
Jennifer
Mom to Eli (12) and Avi (9)

Laurie

I know it's hard, but I am sure you guys will get it figured out, just remember one step at a time. I think I told you, but it bears repeating. When C was 2 he didn't qualify for services, and then when he was 3 he did, because the levels change and he did not. You never know, now that he is a bit older he may qualify again. I wish we could walk in a school and wave our magic wand and see the future - see how our baby will fit in with the teachers and other kids, but since we can't do that, just be the best you can be and don't worry about what other people think or see. Those moms at the playground probably wanted to help, but didn't know how. We've all been there with the screaming kid and sad days. One step at a time. That's what I do. (Hugs)

Mar

This is so hard sometimes, isn't it. As far as I can tell, you're doing everything that can/should be done. Especially that last paragraph. Noah is a luck lucky kid.

Christy

Oh, I feel for you. I'm not a mom, but I love reading your blog and I just wanted to say: You are a great mom. You love your kids and you are trying to find the best thing for them. If I could give you a hug and a glass of wine, I would (although since we've never met - that would probably be creepy - some stranger hugging you and plying you with wine). I hope the best for y'all and Noah has made progress over the year I've been reading your blog. Hugs and nice thoughts being sent your way.

Sara

Oh, this left me teary-eyed and I haven't even finished my morning cup of coffee yet, WHAT THE HELL. You are an AMAZING mom. Kids need love, most importantly, and there is obviously no shortage of that in your household! HUGS to you and Noah!

Val

I just wanted to offer a up a book that might be worth a read, I know, I know, you've probably read 1,000 book chapters and webpages, etc. but I just thought I'd offer it, in case you hadn't read this one yet:
Raising Your Spirited Child, by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. Our daycare teacher recommended I read it because she thought it might help with some of our daughter's...need for routines, and it did give me some interesting insights. Our daughter didn't fit all the comments and suggestions, but it was kind of interesting to see what she did fit, and what she didn't.

I will tell you ahead of time though, its a hard read to get started in, for the same reason you have a hard time talking to his current teacher, b'c she's always telling you how he's JUST like her autistic son. Well this book starts out along the lines of "well if your child is as intense, and sensitive and blah blah blah" and if people call your child "difficult" or "stubborn" or "high needs" then your child is just like mine!" That was kind of hard to read at first, but then, they did make some good points - if you can get past the first part of the book. :)

Sorry for the long-winded post, it's just that your description about the playground incident reminded me of this book, so I figured I'd suggest it, just in case...

marian

I don't know when people began to get the idea that a person needs to be socialized and going to school at age three. Believe me, there is plenty of time. My own son was particularly weird at that age and we didn't even let him go to kindergarten til he was six. Home is good. It's where the love is. There is plenty of time. My son is now 21, thriving in his third year of college and is a very social, very lovely person.

Also, the "I want to go home." thing. I'm an old lady now, but I remember very well feeling this way at Noah's age. I wanted to go home. Real home. Where I was before I was born. Where it wasn't so stressful. I was actively homesick in this way as a child. Interpret it as you will, but I can totally relate!

Trust your heart, not the so-called experts.

-k-

I don't have kids, but reading about Noah always reminds me of my younger brother. In pre- and elementary school, getting him ready was always a constant struggle. I remember a lot of shrieking about "a wrinkle in his sock" after the shoes went on. Like, every day. Through middle school, he remained very set in his ways and in particular very resistant to change, but the extreme stuff waned.

He's now on the verge of turning 22 and he's the coolest kid ever. He's an accomplished musician who's studying botany in college with a 4.0 average (on a recent term paper, his professor's only comment: "Can I clone you?") and a ton of friends. I'm not an expert in sensory disorders and can't try to offer you anything except the small amount of hope that anecdotal evidence can provide. Noah seems like an awesome kid and with dedicated, loving parents like the two of you, I know he's gonna be fine.

I concur with what someone mentioned above about the daycare- if it's provoking that kind of reaction in you, RUN, don't walk, to the next school. If that one turns out to be wrong too, you'll do the best and only thing anyone can do when something's not right- change it.

Good luck.

Marianne

I wanted to read all of these amazing, insightful, supportive comments, but I'm stealing time away at work. So, I'm sure *someone* has said this at least once --- You're doing the most important thing you can do: You and Jason are loving Noah with all of your hearts, for who he is. That makes you a great mom. (Forgive my bad grammar.)

Debora Silkotch

Longtime reader, first time commenter. I've been meaning to say something for ages, but I'm a total slacker. Anyway. My two kids are very different from one another, but between the two of them I've seen most of the PDD and "autistic-like" behaviors you describe in Noah. Their early school years were very difficult, and the one and only school (Pre through 12) in our podunk little town was completely unable to give them the help they needed. There were meetings and tests and everyone agreed that something needed to be done for them, but nothing ever really was.

They're 8 and 10 now, and still in the same crappy school because moving isn't really an option for us. The 10-year-old (the one who was echolalic and socially unresponsive until she was almost five) is a confident, articulate GATE student now with a love for karaoke and a true gift for art. The 8-year-old (the one with serious sensory issues and a persecution complex who couldn't sit still in class until 2nd grade) is now a friendly, bright, compassionate, imaginative boy with marvelous communication skills.

I know you're very tired of hearing "wait and see," and I don't blame you. And I'm sure not saying that Noah doesn't need help. I'm saying that just loving him and being there for him and providing him with what YOU can see he needs at any given moment might be all it takes in the long run. He's going to grow and develop, and I think the most important thing is for him to always know that you're on his side and that he can trust you to be there for him.

Anyway, just my 2¢. You're a great mom, I know everything will be fine for you all in the end.

CJ

I have a Sept '05 boy too. We had him in preschool because...well because we thought we should, and it was a wonderful program but he just wasn't himself there - so similar to what you describe for Noah. Finally we pulled him out entirely, just gave up on the money we couldn't get back, and it is the greatest choice we ever made. Since then I have realized that lots of 3 year olds aren't ready for preschool. Maybe he'll be ready when he's 4, maybe not until he's 5, but right now he is all about solo playing and hanging out with him family and a few regular playdates, and he's doing great! I was worried about socialization too, but he's just not ready for the large group social scene, and I realized he wasn't getting much socialization there anyhow because he just ran in circles, kicked the ball wherever he wanted, and did his own thing all my himself. I realize you have some very serious and valid concerns about Noah, but my goodness I can't believe that his normal 3 year old behavior at preschool needs to be one of them!

miriam

heck, it sounds like you need a day off from school too... If it is driving you crazy and makes you doubt yourself and all the parenting you've done, I'd say pull him out even if they had a merry-go-round with real ponies and served rainbows and fair sprinkles for snacktime. There are so many things that make him feel happy and safe-- one of them is you feeling happy and safe (cuz he loves you and stuff).

Vanna

To Randi - no amount of research on your part is going to give you more into Noah's situation than Amy has. She's his MOM - and a damn good one at that. He's not just extra picky. So why don't you take the advice of your own blog title and stop with the insensitive comments.

To Amy - the courage and strength you demonstrate remind me of why I want to be a mom. I hope one day to be able to be as good of a mom as you. You're giving Noah your best - the most amazing gift you could give - don't be so hard on yourself just because you've hit some obstacles.

Ashley

This parenting stuff? It's hard, and sometimes it really sucks. But doood. You don't have to be perfect. So what if one school didn't work out? It's not really your fault. You guys are doing your best, trying to search for answers where you aren't even sure of the question yet. Try to breathe...and if you can afford the Montessori school, close your eyes, and do it! If it doesn't work, then you'll know. Sometimes that's just the only way...finding all the things that DONT work before you find the one that does. And, that's okay too. Here's lots of virtual hugs.

Kristen

My heart breaks for you. You'll do the right thing, I just know it.

Kendra

Oh, what a lot to be going through--for all of you. You're clearly such a devoted mom, and I can only imagine the pressures of making all these decisions. I hope the break from school is good for you and for Noah and that soon you find a place that's a better fit for all of you.

Andrea

Hoping this makes your day alittle better:
http://www.autismvotes.org/site/c.frKNI3PCImE/b.3909853/k.BE44/Home.htm

Kelly

I'm so sorry things are so rough right now. My oldest, now 4.5yrs, was born *really* early and had complications yadda yadda and we've been expecting him to do horribly and hoping and expecting him to do wonderfully at the same time. We chose to keep him home with me (and the new Little) last year because he was just not ready for the kind of socialization that pre-k involves. Too many people, too much distraction for a boy who was just.not.ready. He drove me nuts, at home, and I felt horrible about denying things to him and how messed up he was going to be and he'd never catch up, socially, with the other kids and yadda yadda. This year we put him into an E.I. preschool that our district pays for. He gets to ride a bus, which is a huge plus for Mr.ILOVECARS! and he goes twice a week for a few hours each and they give him extra help with his areas of need (communication, fine motor). I can't say how much it's helping him for his issues but he's so.much.more.ready and he's having so much fun that I don't care. He's still improving at his own pace, as he always has, and it's just right for him.

I hope you and Noah can find as good a place for him. I hope you know that yes, time counts, but so does Mommy's sanity (and how it trickles down into everyone else's heads). Good luck and love.

Cass

I just have to say that throwing a tantrum at the park is what any 3-year-old might do. My son did lots of stuff like that. So if it helps at all, maybe take that incident out of your list of worries for now. And not to make light of all your worries and I do hope you keep believing in infinite possibilities, but um, maybe tell that teacher to um, suck it?

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