"I love you and want for you all things that make you happiest; and I guess you, not I, are the one who knows best what those things are."

Monday, October 24, 2011

John Started School

We’ve somehow managed to navigate the transition from Early Intervention to the public school system with John’s therapies.  Trust me, this has not been an easy process.  In fact, to be completely honest, we’re not 100% there.

We started with a transition meeting back in June this summer.  Then in early August I started calling the school district.  At that time I was told they didn’t have any openings for screening him in the month of September.  *geesh*  But after ‘explaining’ that was not going to be an option they magically found a spot open in their September 2nd screening.  Surprise, surprise! 

During his screening, he passed his fine and gross motor tests and rocked his concepts and receptive language tests.  Then comes his expressive speech test – which after three words (his name, “cup” and “ring”) the speech therapist discontinued the test, sent him out of the room and looked at me saying “there’s no reason to keep testing him, he’s in desperate need of speech therapy”.  Gee thanks!  That’s why I’m here lady!  I already know that!

Once we got to the consultation part of the screening, it became clear that they were going to admit John to the special education preschool program.  The program allows John to continue receiving therapies. 

The last week of September proved to be a little more of a struggle than I anticipated.  We went into John’s IEP meeting hopeful that we could get physical therapy once a month, occupational therapy once a month and 1-1 speech therapy 4 times a week for 25 minutes.  At our IEP meeting we were informed that they would only offer him OT once a week, PT on a consultation basis, and speech 15 minutes a day in a small group.  We can handle the OT and PT….but he needs more than group speech therapy!

We’re in the process of appealing the offerings and trying to get him more speech therapy.  It’s a slow process – starting with another IEP meeting which isn’t scheduled until November 14.  After that we move to mediators and eventually, if we can’t see eye-to-eye, we’ll go to court.  Let’s hope it doesn’t get that far!

We had a few options but went with a classroom that has only 2 other boys in it and is 2.5 hours 4 days a week. It was the best option for John at the time. His teacher is awesome and does a great job working with John.  He rides the bus to school – it picks him up at our house and has a car seat on it for him – and I pick him up after school so I can get a daily report from his teacher (because his speech is unintelligible and we’d never know what he did if the teacher didn’t tell us). 

John is loving school.  He happily gets ready after lunch and runs to the bus when it pulls up to our driveway.  Every day when I pick him up he bounds out of the school and greets me.  We talk about what he did each day and he shows me the content of his backpack.  He has homework every weekend (a single worksheet with about 5 activities on it).

I’ll try to keep the blog posted on the progress of our appeals with the school district.  In the mean time – here’s my little man on his first day of school (October 12, 2011)

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1 comment:

  1. Prayers for you. We know this process well... Shelby has been in the "custody" of the school system since age 3 (we are in NC) and started kindergarten this year (she has autism). She does not need PT, but does require OT and speech therapy. Speech she gets 30 minutes a week and then on-going in class. OT is 45 minutes a week but they will only cover fine motor skills. She also has sensory processing disorder. Because she qualifies for medicaid due to the degree of her disability, we are able to get one hour of OT through medicaid in addition to what is being done in school at home especially for her sensory issues.

    I would check into other state programs. Like in NC they have CAP lists and IPERS funding and those programs give your child a worker for a specified period of time. Some states also have special programs just for speech or OT that are not affliated with the school system. Of course every state is different and in this economy what is here one day may be gone the next. ~Kristen @ St Monica's Bridge

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