DS will turn 3 at the end of Oct. Missed the cut-off, so he's in a 2 year old room. He goes 3 days a week for 4 hours, including lunch. He's been 4 full weeks now- just missed the 1st day when we both struggled with severe allergies.
They had an opening last year in late Feb. for a 2 day, 2.5 hr. program. They overlooked his birthday, so he was in with older kids that time. It's at the same place, just with new teachers. Things seemed to be going o.k. - some clinginess on occasion when I left, not wanting to walk in on his own, etc. But, I'm working around that. (If I mention that his favorite music teacher might be downstairs to greet, he'll walk down the stairs on his own.)
The lead teacher that he has now, had seen him on the playground and knew he had been in the 2 year old room. She took me aside during the preview day and asked if he had been held back for any reason. I explained that he had been placed in the opening despite not fitting the age criteria. I said that now he's with the kids who are his age.
On Friday at pick-up the lead teacher mentioned that she had some concerns. We discussed there in front of DS. (Maybe a bad idea?)
(1) He had a sore above his lip that she noticed him rubbing with his bottom tooth. I said that I noticed the sore, but didn't know how he got it- if he caused it by rubbing, or if he was playing with it. He had some allergy-related drainage that day and the previous day (no fever), so could have been trying to prevent snot from dripping into his mouth. (With the way she continued on with things, I'm not sure if she thought he had a nervous tic or something.)
(2) He says "Spencer does this" to her. I know at one point, he used to talk like that, but he had mostly started saying "I." So, I said interesting. Later I thought maybe I've done him some harm because I got into the habit of saying, "Mommy will do xyz" vs. "I will do xyz." So, that has been noted.
But, later that night while playing he said "I'm using the drill" and I caught him saying "I" several more times over the weekend.
(3) He doesn't seem to be listening to her. She wondered if he had a hearing problem. I said that he's passed all his hearing screenings, and he's never had an ear infection. So, that shouldn't be it. I did mention that we're doing construction (drywall + mud) at our house, and we've had some congestion. But, I didn't think that should cause a problem.
I was trying to think of possible causes, so I mentioned that I know my neice was taken to a Sensory Solutions place to help with eating. I'm not sure if she has an official diagnosis, but I don't think so. But, I have heard that it runs in families. So, I mentioned it- not knowing a whole lot about it.
I've checked out websites, and DS doesn't seem to stand out for anything major- no problems with tags, etc. The only one that would seem to fit in this situation would be not listening to his teacher.
(4) She was concerned that he didn't climb on the playground equipment. She tried to lead/drag him up and over. DS had said that the slide was hot (had had 90+ degree weather days), but she told him it was not hot. So, it looks like she's looking for a gross motor delay or something. I told her that we have a climber at home and he does climb on it. He's been on the big equipment at various parks that goes up over my head.
(5) While talking about the playground I mentioned how he talked about the bikes at school. She replied that, "Well, he doesn't really pedal on it." I'm wondering if that's more of an opportunity issue though. We don't really use his 3-in-1 trike, and even though he's really tall, his Big Wheels still seem to long of a reach for him. I was going to buy him a Strider style, but hadn't picked up a tricycle. (Bad mommy?)
I said that the only concern that I had at this point, was that I noticed that he wasn't alternating his feet on the stairs yet. I said that I'd bring that up with the pedi at his 3 year exam.
Over the weekend, I made the observation about DS' use of "I" vs "Spencer." He said "I" all the time except for Saturday. We had traveled with SIL and niece for apple picking. My niece is older and the day went late. There was no nap for DS, other than 5 minutes in the car before it was time to get out again. Right before he fell asleep he said "Spencer does this." So, I wondered if it could be related to being overtired, and reverting to an earlier stage.
On Monday morning, I mentioned it to the teacher at drop-off. (We were the 1st ones there, and no one else had showed up yet.) I didn't say it to be defensive about her concerns, but perhaps she took it that way. I just wanted to share another observation. She cut me off rather snappily (my nice way of saying bitchy) and said he's like that ("Spencer does") all the time there unless she prompts him. She pretty much cut me off and moved on, didn't want to discuss it.
At pick up she told me that DS had his 1st bad day. He dumped out a pile of blocks out of a bin on the floor. And, at lunch time he kicked the table. She said, "You know, sensory things." I'm thinking, "Hmmm, and we don't even have a diagnosis." My son's been in other people's care and most people are quite taken with him. He's pretty easy-going almost all the time.
I had an appointment with the doctor this morning to discuss these concerns. He didn't seem to think too much of it- as she's seen him all of 3-4 weeks. He said that it could very likely be that he just doesn't want to pay attention to her- especially if she's trying to get him to do something he doesn't want to do (climb the equipment, i.e.) He recommended keeping up with our P.A.T. lady (who we've seen since birth). But, he mentioned that if she's never noticed anything, that he doubts there's anything going on. Even though DS was shy with the doctor, the doctor did comment on his vocabulary and speech, but said even now saying "Spencer does" on occasion is no biggie. He was not concerned at all that he's not alternating feet on the stairs- as he is running just fine, and is not lagging in other milestones.
I've discussed with DH, and will talk with the director. (She's the one who gave me a tour, and I feel quite comfortable with her.) I feel that the teacher is being overly picky and seems to be looking for things. I'm not especially thrilled with the teacher's approach.
I know that they have cameras in the room, so I wonder if I'll be able to observe the class- and see how DS compares to the other kids.
There aren't too many other rooms, but I wonder about switching to another classroom. (We just received the buzz book. There's 1 other MWF extended day, and 1 TTh for his age group. One looked kind of full, but may be worth a shot.) I'm not thrilled about that, but it is something running in the back of my mind already. If on observation, or further evaluation, and the problem's not with DS, I'm not a fan of him being in an environment where I feel like she's constantly critiquing him and looking for bad vs. mentioning good things.
Thoughts? Any other advice for working with the teacher, who doesn't seem to receptive to discussing this? Should I just schedule a check up with an occupational therapist to clear DS- even though the pedi didn't think he needed it? Or, 1st just, hopefully observe DS in the setting myself?
(Might edit/add more. DS woke early.)