Ben’s Preschool Evaluation and First IEP

eval-table

Ben turns 3 at the end of April, so he will be transitioning from home-based early intervention to having his therapies in a preschool setting.  In our county, most kids with significant developmental or behavioral disabilities go to a designated “special needs school”.   I understand that a lot of parents and educators disagree with this approach, but we think it’s the right one for Ben at this time.

Earlier this month (the same week as our vehicular fiasco), he had a formal evaluation at the Center.  He first had his hearing and hearing aids checked briefly by their audiologist.  Ben is difficult to test using behavioral cues, so the audiologist was relieved to learn that he’ll be having a detailed ABR under general anesthesia tomorrow morning.

ben-rolling

Then we all went to a different room, and we met all the therapists that Ben would be working with in school, as well as the school psychologist.  The physical therapist went first, and she put Ben down on the mat to watch him roll, crawl, sit up and stand with support.  We were pleased that we’ve already met Ben’s therapist – she filled in for our usual physical therapist a little over a year ago when she was on maternity leave.  Ben did very well.

ben-at-table-1

Then they sat Ben in a little chair and tested how well he was able to manipulate objects with his hands and arms.  Ben sat very well and cooperated with all the tasks.   The school psychologist asked whether we wanted Ben’s IQ tested.  We consented, and she did her evaluation.  Through the entire process everyone asked us lots of questions about Ben’s routine, his likes/dislikes, special abilities, personality, and what our goals were for him.

ben-at-table-2

nate-and-me

We generated his IEP for the year, and read over and signed it.  Since the preschool operates year-round, Ben could technically start attending as soon as he turns three, but we all agreed to keep up home-based therapies a little longer; until August.  We asked questions about the preschool itself.  We learned that the classes are typically small (6-8 kids per teacher), kids work individually with the therapists at different times during the school day (or rather half-day), we are able to communicate back and forth with Ben’s teacher and therapists daily using a notebook, and at least once a month, his teacher will do a home visit to meet with us and discuss any concerns.  Ben will be continuing PT, OT (including working on oral feeds), ST, and will periodically meet with teachers for students with visual and hearing impairments.

ben-koosh1

The prospect of sending Ben to school fills us with anxiety, but at the moment we feel a little reassured after our IEP meeting.   For now it does appear that his educational needs will be met in this setting; we’ll see how things actually work in a few short months.

Advertisements

When it rains…

nateyneb

What an eventful week!    My husband Mark also blogged most of this, so my apologies for being repetitive.

Nate has been sick for the entire week.  Initially he had just a fever and a nasty cough, but by Monday night he started wheezing.  We took him to see the pediatrician on Tuesday.  The pediatrician diagnosed a viral syndrome, and started Nate on albuterol nebulizer treatments.  We did those faithfully, but on Thursday Nate was definitely worse.   The pediatrician started him on some oral steroids, and thankfully they seem to be helping.  But Nate hasn’t been sleeping well, poor thing, and neither have we.  During the day, he wants to be held and carried everywhere, so we also haven’t been getting much done around the house.

Tuesday was Ben’s preschool evaluation, but that will merit its own separate post.  Hopefully I’ll get to it later this week!

olds

Meanwhile, for the last week and a half, my car (my previously trusty 1995 Oldsmobile) has been overheating.  On Wednesday we took it in to our mechanic to have it looked at.  Unfortunately, the problem was more expensive to fix than we anticipated.  We decided that night not to repair it, but to replace it.  After all, the car is 14 years old, and has been becoming less and less reliable with each passing year.  I just hated the thought that it might leave me  stranded somewhere on the Interstate.

montana

The very next day, 0n Thursday I drove our van (1999 Pontiac Montana) to work.  About a block from my office it made a noise and it seemed to me that the accelerator wasn’t as responsive as it had been a just few minutes before.  I convinced myself it was just my imagination.  However that afternoon when I went to leave, I discovered I had a major problem.  It wouldn’t go into reverse AT ALL.  The transmission was fried.  So I was stranded at work, and Mark was stranded at home.

A kind co-worker dropped me off at the mechanic so that I could pick up my overheating (but at that time still driveable) Oldsmobile from the mechanic, and I made it home OK.  Unfortunately, I made the mistake of driving it to work on Friday.  It became dangerously hot on the way home that night, and I ended up returning to my office and getting a ride home from a dear friend of ours, who left her Lenten fish dinner to rescue me.   How embarassing!

So in a few days we had gone from two vehicles to zero.

The van was towed to our bemused mechanic, where it will undergo extremely costly repairs.   After all, we can’t afford to replace two vehicles in the same year, let alone in the same week!  On Saturday, Mark bummed a ride from our next door neighbor to the local car rental place so that he actually had a vehicle to use to go car shopping.  (We really like the rental car, BTW!  Isaac and Jonathan were extremely impressed; they’d never been inside a brand-new car before!  I’ve certainly never driven a car this nice.)

nice-rental-car

Anyway, on Saturday Mark bought us a used van to replace my car, while I stayed home with the boys.  We thought it made more sense to buy a van because there are now 6 of us in this family, and I can tell the Montana probably won’t hold up too much longer.  I hear the new van is very nice, and I’ve seen photos, but I won’t see it in person until it is delivered to our house tomorrow.  I hope it knows it has to last us for YEARS AND YEARS!!!

I hope this week is less eventful.