Alone in a crowd

23 Aug

Jade and I went to the Child Development Centre today so that she could meet her new teacher for the preschool program she’ll be attending until Christmas.  I am thrilled that she got a spot in the program, as she’ll have access to her various therapists for three hours a day, four days a week.

Besides the preschool teacher, Jade’s physiotherapist, speech-language pathologist, and child psychologist were also there to observe and to “play” with her.  While she was busy doing an activity with one therapist, the rest of us would talk about how the program will work, how the keto diet might affect preschool activities, and skills Jade needs to work on.  I was asked if there were any particular skills I wanted the teachers to emphasise.

One thing I mentioned was working on Jade’s group social skills.  She’s happy to initiate a conversation with one adult or one child, but if there is a group of unfamiliar children playing, it’s sometimes painful (for me) to watch how she tries to enter into the group.  I want things to go well and there’s not much I can do to help enter into the game.

As the words left my mouth, I suddenly realized that the situation I described is one that I’m terribly awkward in.  I hate going to gatherings where everyone else knows each other and everyone’s too busy talking to notice that I’m on the fringes.  It’s an intimidating scenario, even as an adult.  Am I asking a little too much of my four-year-old, or am I just hoping that she can be taught skills early on that haven’t come easily to me?  (In fact, is it possible that she already handles the situation better than I do? Yes, yes it is.)

I said as much, and the language pathologist laughed in recognition.  “Sometimes when I’m in schools working with groups of kids on these types of skills I stop and wonder, ‘Am I a good friend?  Do I know how to do the things that I’m teaching these kids to do?'”

Nice to know I’m not alone.

Well, regardless of whether Jade gets to practice this particular skill, I just know that she is going to love going to her school.  Bring on the school year!

P.S. Everyone was very impressed with Jade’s language development over the summer.  The speech-language pathologist was excited that Jade can make rhymes.  A happy Mama moment, indeed!

3 Responses to “Alone in a crowd”

  1. Marian August 24, 2010 at 7:06 am #

    I was TOTALLY impressed with Jade’s language/vocabulary/memory/”reading”/ math and other skills. She’s come so far in such a short time. Remember when you asked how many people were in the van and she answered “six” without a pause. She just knew. Her concentration skills are incredible too. How she loves those books!
    As for Jade’s social skills, she wasn’t at all shy with us, and I’m sure once she’s back with a peer group, she’ll just settle into things.
    She’s a terrific kid, and it’s all due to you, Michael, and the keto diet.

  2. Tine August 24, 2010 at 10:16 am #

    I’m so glad to hear Jade has come so far, & I hope she’ll get as much support & inspiration in her new school as she needs🙂 !!

    As for the group social schools, I, too, hate entering an unfamiliar group where everyone else knows each other & keeps busy chatting – in fact, my new company is having a BBQ this week at the place where I only work on the weekends, & although the co-workrs I met so far have been very friendly & supporting, & we had a lot of fun together, too, I don’t think I’ll be going (I definately would if I’d already met all of them & got to know some of them a little better) !! Oh, well …

    Best wishes to all 04 of you🙂 !!

    ♥ ♥ ♥

  3. Bubblybunny August 24, 2010 at 8:29 pm #

    I am exactly like that too – good in one-on-one situations but quiet in group settings, even if it’s a group of people I know well. I think this is a trait I developed as a child and although I’ve opened up a lot in the past 10 years, I can never really shed a trait I’ve lived with all my life. I think it’s normal for a child to be shy but it is a good idea to present her with situations where she has the opportunity to learn social interactions. The more she’s exposed, the quicker she’ll learn to integrate. I learned too late; I am better but I can’t change who I am anymore.

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