I originally posted this in the comments section of the previous post, but it was really too long for that so I'm making it into a new post. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, read here first.
Thank you all for your comments and your support, it means a lot.
We had an easier morning today, and everything always looks a bit better after a few hours of sleep. I think sleep, or rather lack thereof, is a key issue here. She doesn't sleep enough (not for lack of trying on our part), and then she's constantly overtired and at the outer limits of her coping skills. We're thinking maybe it's time to focus on that above all else for a little while and see if it helps. Not that we have a way to do that, but maybe L (her therapist) will have some ideas.
Maddy - I think (and her ST thinks, not sure about L, we see her tomorrow) that a lot of this is all the recent changes in our normal routine - grandparents here, Jay and I away (even though M had a blast it was still a change), grandparents leaving, Hannukah, etc. We're hoping that as things settle down again that so will she.
Jeques - you're a very kind soul. Thank you.
Margalit - I know you can understand this. Thank you too for the legal information. The specifics don't really apply since I'm not in the US, but if we do need to do some serious advocating I'll definitely pick your brain first.
Susie - I'm going to e-mail you (and thank you for the offer). I'd like to talk with you about whether we could/should incorporate some aspects of picture communication without compromising the progress she's making (and she is) in using her words. Maya CAN communicate very well and in long and complex sentences when she's present in the same plane as the rest of us. It's when she's not that's the trouble, and lately she's been "not" more often again. Sigh.
Anon and the others who talked about special ed programs, etc. - I appreciate your suggestions and it is something we've talked about with the Child Dev people (Hitpatchut HaYeled). None of the professionals seem to think it's warranted (at least for now) because she IS doing well in a regular private preschool setting. She actively participates, answers questions, interacts well and appropriately with staff and children, etc. Her real difficulties are in things like free play, where she prefers to be off in her own world much of the time and discourages interaction. Some of that is just who Maya is, but she still needs encouragement to interact more and at an age-appropriate level. I'm very concerned about the move from a small well-staffed private preschool class to a huge public kindergarten. If we, together with the professionals, feel that it is necessary we will fight to get her into either a communications gan or put her into the Democratic School (child-led learning) if need be. It's all about whatever is best for Maya, and right now we just don't know where she will be emotionally, developmentally, etc. in September. Cognitive tests (and our own observations) show that intellectually she's advanced for her age, and while I'm afraid of throwing her into a social situation that is beyond her, I'm also concerned about holding her back intellectually, that that could make her frustrated and bored in school and thus less engaged.
Her actual Hebrew language skills (English was never a problem) have improved significantly. She is talking a LOT more and using much more advanced sentence structure in Hebrew now, and her ST is really pleased with her progress there. We still have a long way to go with expressive language though - actually using her words - and in bilateral communication, particularly in times of stress.
Again, thank you all for your kind words. They help. A lot.