I need to say (as most of my close friends and family know) I was extremely apprehensive about sending Emi to Pre-K full-time 5 days a week. She was extremely attached to us and my fear was that she was going to be totally ticked off at us for leaving her from 8 am to 2 pm with complete strangers. In the beginning she wasn't too happy about it and my heart broke every time I left her screaming and crying. She did not want me to leave her. However about 2 weeks into school she was cool as a cucumber about it. And now, she is a completely different kid from 3 1/2 months ago. She's bigger and more independent. Plus she's signing up a storm and saying words and letters I never thought I'd hear from her sweet lips. For some of those new to my blog, Emi was born profoundly deaf and can only hear with a hearing aid. Without it she hears nothing. She was also born with a cleft lip and cleft palate - both of which have been repaired. The struggle has been training her mouth and lips to do what we know they can do. In just 3 1/2 short months of school she can say the letters H, F, S and G which are very difficult for cleft palate/lip kids to get. We're getting words and sounds that we struggled to get over the course of a years worth of in-home speech therapy. I don't blame the therapist but I strongly believe that a classroom environment and seeing other kids do it has given her the motivation she needs. Plus the therapists at the school are awesome. They've even said on the last day of school when I come pick up Emi on the last day of school they're going to tell me they have no idea where she is. They all want to keep her there. And they have been a godsend to her. I'm not going to miss life here but I am going to miss the DHH (deaf and hard of hearing) staff at Still so very, very much. I could not recommend a better group of teachers, therapists and para-pros for kids with Emi's needs.
Her teacher, Miss Jenna, made a great slideshow of pictures of the kids throughout the year. On Monday I'm going in with a thumb drive to upload a bunch of photos of Emi to have and to post here. It was such a great slideshow. She's had a ball this semester.
In the photos above it is Emi signing I love you. It was so sweet. I love it!