I spoke to the director of Eugene Hearing and Speech—who also happens to be Anna’s therapist—and she asked if we wanted to move Anna to the Thursday afternoon class, with four girls and two boys.
A great suggestion, but I foresaw two problems. First, her birthday party was coming up and we’d already invited all her classmates. We couldn’t move her until after the party, otherwise her new friends would feel left out. Second, she’d been napping in the afternoon, and I was worried that she might get tired and cranky.
Julia and I talked it over, though, and we decided the benefits of getting her in a mixed class far outweighed the problems. As long as we waited until after her party to switch her we’d avoid the first problem. As for the second, she was only napping some days anyway and by waiting a week before switching her we could get her on a new sleep schedule.
We called it her “five-year-old” schedule. “Kids your age don’t nap anymore,” we told her, “but they also have a set bedtime.” We’d let her set her own bedtime until then—not the best idea, she was usually up until ten.
So over the next week, we got her into a new schedule. Up between 6:30 and 7 AM, no nap, and in bed by 8:30 PM. She took to it within a few days.
By the day of her first afternoon class she was all set. She hadn’t napped once in over a week, and she was bright and energetic.
She was ready for her new class too. Her exact words:
“There are girls in my class! YAY!!!”