‘Ain will go to school (correction, special playschool!)

After a very long time, finally we found a school special playschool for ‘Ain. For both of us, it is such a relief. After being at home with her father for far too long, I guess she needed the change. She needs friends, she needs teacher and better guidance to explore her abilities. Most importantly, to boost her communication skills. Being surrounded by only us, for me is not helpful for her communication skill.

It all started last year, when I feel there is something quite not right with ‘Ain’s communication skill .  She talked a lot, but it was all babbling, and I did not understand any of it. Moreover, other children started to talk starting at that age. I guess I have to do something.

So I wrote an e-mail to the child care/ vitras about my concern. I got a reply 2 weeks later, stating that they would help me. Later on, we planned to do some tests to rule out any possibilities such as hearing loss, behavioural issues and probably autism. The test took only half day, but to make the appointment for the test took us around 2 months. First, ‘Ain has to be in very healthy state. Flu will definitely influence her hearing test, and at that time its autumn. It’s flu season, so everyone had it including ‘Ain. Even on the test day, ‘Ain still have the flu, and the hearing result came out not satisfactory.

The tests were divided to three sections; behavior and intelligence, hearing and finally communication. So at each section, test was done for about 1/2 hour. In the first section, there were 2 examiners. They asked ‘Ain to do some puzzles, and observing her behavior. At that time, I was sitting at the back watching her enjoying all the attention. She did all the puzzle and matching some shapes. At the second section, we went into a small room with some equipment for hearing test. (Sorry no picture). So, they asked her to wear earphone and put on sounds, and if she hears it, she will look at the source of the sound. To determine whether there was inner ear problem, she need to wear the smaller earphone, which she refused at first. However, after persuading her, we did the test. So, because she still had flu, the result came  out not satisfactory.Finally, communication test. ‘Ain was asked to blew some bubbles, to follow the examiners to say words on cards.

You can guess the result  for the third test.

After the tests, we discussed how to go further and what is the best thing to do. I told them that I will move to Wageningen. So, thinking between sending ‘Ain to special school in Utrecht or for me to be near to my supervisor at Wageningen did tore me apart. But, at last we made our decision to move to Wageningen, and if it means travelling to Arnhem, so let it be.

I’ve received the full report about the tests from the three examiners. Everything was paid by my insurance, of course. Though everything was written in Dutch, one of the examiner called me to clarify things written in the letter. She also told me that there was letter being sent to our house doctor at Bilthoven and also to Wageningen child care. This was to make sure there is follow up from Wageningen.

We settled down in Wageningen, and registered at the gementee (city hall). After few weeks, we received an invitation letter to check ‘Ain’s development at 3 years old. Previously during our stay at Bilthoven, check up was done every month until 2 years, and after that every 6 months. At the appointment in Wageningen, the doctor told us about the letter and later asked us to toilet train her. Both of us find it is hard to toilet train ‘Ain (and we still struggling with that now).  She also promised us that she will find a school for ‘Ain.

After 2 weeks, the doctor called. I was in the middle of my meeting with Wilma, and we were looking at the new dataset. I was annoyed to have someone called me at that time, but when I heard the good news, I jumped up with joy. What made this news even great was the school is near our house. My god, alhamdulillah. I was so so relief to hear that. Wilma was back to her room.  So I walked to her room, almost like running and when I was there, in front of henk and Wilma, I said, ” I found a special school for my daughter! And it’s just 5 minutes cycling from home! Hoera!!!”. I can see both of them smile, gladly saying that indeed moving to Wageningen was the best decision I’ve ever done.

I have to wait for the school to call, and finally they called last week. They had arranged to meet us and ‘Ain today. Someone from the social services also called and asked to meet me on Friday. Because the school requires special need, they will have to ask money from the city hall. So I have to sign some papers with the social services as soon as possible, so that  ‘Ain can start her school.

Today we went to the school. It was situated around <1km from our house. When we arrived, we were greeted by the person in charge, Karin. She introduced us to the teachers. There was 3 teachers and 7 childrens. She said, maximum they will have is 10. This is to make sure all children have the maximum attention. (Sorry, again no picture). Later on, ‘Ain had the opportunity to sit with the children and joined the activities. They were singing, jumping and listening to the teachers. The teachers talked to each and every one, making sure no one was left behind. Karin told us, and also from what I saw, ‘Ain really adapted quickly to the group and it might be that she only need more attention in communication. She also said that, there will be specialist that visited this group and they will observe her from time to time. After 6 months, they will write any recommendation and suggestion about ‘Ain and discussed it with us.

You know how I feel looking at her that time?. I feel joy, blessed, relief and I feel happy and overwhelmed. It’s a mixed feeling and I almost cry. I cried when I sent her to child care when she was 2 months old. I cried when I left her for my study and I cried again to see her to go to the playschool. I’m not sure what kind of feeling that was, but I think all moms felt the same way as I did. Happy and at the same time scared, protective and wants the best for them.

After 30 minutes of discussion, Karin told us as soon as Gementee agree to pay (I’m praying so hard they would), ‘Ain can start to go to school. Karin also asked my opinion about  this class. I said it is a terrific opportunity for ‘Ain to boost her confidence, her communication and strongly feel that making sure ‘Ain had fun is the best thing to do. No pressure or what ever.

Hopefully, everything will go well in this 5 weeks. I can’t wait to send her to the class, pack her lunch and ask her this question, ” How was school today?”.

p/s: Don’t say I’m exaggerating things. ‘Ain has her own pace, and I’m dealing this with my own pace too. Also this is just like diet, you might need it but I probably don’t.


2 thoughts on “‘Ain will go to school (correction, special playschool!)

  1. Kak Yani,

    So, have they ruled out autism? Bila kak yani cakap Ain babbling, saya teringat anak saudara saya yang first macam tuh gak, sampai dia masuk tadika (5 tahun) baru dengar butir apa dia cakap. I guess kalau dah leh detect dari awal macam Ain, lagi senang nak pulihkan. But I do hope it is not autism!

    • I think so. Masa test tu dia tgk pada sifat nk sharing, and ‘Ain bila gembira dia pndg kat kita utk share perasaan tu. Bagi someone with autism, dia xdek sifat tu. Pahtu dia pun xdek sifat2 lain utk autism mcm echolalia n susun brg2 tinggi. Lagi, ‘Ain ada improvement dari segi percakapan and vocab. Dia jugak faham arahan n senang nk kawal. So, mungkin mslh perckpn je. Harap bila masuk sekolah, ‘ain leh communicate lebih baik pahtu blajar bhs dutch sblm masuk sekolah.

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