Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sledding!

Friday was my birthday, so we headed up to Lake Tahoe to spend the weekend in the snow. It was so much fun! My hubby and I got on the slopes in the first time in two years (managing them in the lodge while the other skied was not as much fun) and the twins went sledding for the first time. Last year when we went up there, Lucy was just barely walking and Drake was primarily rolling, so we put them in backpacks and took them for a snowy hike.

This year, I invested in waterproof pants, boots, and mittens and we made a (very) little sledding track behind the cabin where we were staying. Drake especially loved sledding. He kept asking and signing for "more". It was a little hard for him to crawl around in the snow, but man, he was determined.

Here is a cute video of Drake and I sledding.

video

Monday, February 8, 2010

Evals and Preschools

Home from work today with a nasty sinus infection. Has anyone had one of these before? I feel like the left side of my face is about to explode. I have so much pressure in my sinuses that my teeth even ache. Anyway, I figured a post would be a good way to distract from the pain.

Let's see. Drake just had his latest 6 month evaluation from the Regional Center. Overall, he made progress in all areas except gross motor. I am an analytical type and I keep a spreadsheet of his age equivalencies at each evaluation. According to my spreadsheet, he aged 4 months overall in 6 months. So, while he continues to progress, he isn't making up any lost ground.

I should clarify that this evaluation excluded speech. His speech therapist also just evaluated him and he is making a lot of progress there. He went from 6-9 month level in receptive to a 18-21 month level. He went from 9-12 month level in expressive to a 24 month level. So, he made up a lot of lost ground here. He is within normative levels for expressive, I think. He has over 100 words and is starting to combine them. And like a typical 2 year old, he loves to say 'No'. :)

We have a meeting on March 12 to start the transition from the Regional Center to the public school district. I can't believe my babies will be turning 3 on August 29 and starting preschool in September! Because they have summer birthdays close to the start of the new school year, we are doing what we can now to move the process along quickly. Ideally, we would know by the end of June where Drake will be placed in September.

It has been an emotional journey for me deciding on preschools for the twins. Of course, I hoped they could to be together if possible. I toured a bunch of preschools that had been referred to me by parents and therapists as typical preschools that are open to having special needs kids.

But after touring these schools and talking to their directors, some of whom seemed more open to Drake than others, I realized that these preschools probably aren't the right place for him right now. Their outside space isn't set up for a crawler, for example. And these kids spend a lot of time outdoors! I know that Drake would want to be out there, too, and it would be hard crawling around on cement and wood chips and dirt.

I realized that I have to stop thinking about them as twins for now. Instead, I have to think of them as my two kids. I don't want to do a disservice to Lucy who is so ready for a typical preschool. And I felt I was limiting what preschools I was looking at because I was keeping Drake in the back of my mind. So, to make a long story short, I have Lucy enrolled at a great montessori-based school starting in September. She will go there 9 - 3, Monday - Friday.

The school knows about Drake and may be open to supporting him if and when the time is right. They mentioned that it would need to be the perfect storm in terms of having a classroom with an experienced teacher who could also support an aide for Drake. But even if that storm were to hit now, I just don't think the time is right for him. I am hopeful I will love the preschool options provided by the state school system. I plan to send him to preschool in the morning and have him home with a nanny in the afternoons. The nanny will pick up Lucy from her school at 3, so D & L will get to have a few hours together each day, too. This perfect plan is all based on us loving Drake's preschool options. I am optimistic, but if we hate them, I think we will keep him home with a nanny for another year and see where he is the following September. Maybe he will be ready for Lucy's school then? Who knows.

I sense that I am at the beginning of a whole new challenge; school systems, esp for special needs kids. Preparing myself for battle.