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.


Katy said...

You are too much--if my kid got four months of progress in six months, I'd probably die of happiness.

Sounds like you're doing a good job with the kids. The school thing is tough. Luckily, nothing is written in stone and you can always change your mind about any of it at any time.

GingerB said...

Oh please keep us posted about how it goes, what you like and what you don't and how you choose. I'll be amking these calls next hyear and it already taxes my weak little brain.

Hopeful Mother said...

First of all, way to go on the evals. Those are fantastic, and I am particularly impressed with Drake's progress in speech!

I can completely relate to your decision making dilemmas. We probably won't send Car.sten to preschool this first year, and Al.ex will likely go to an inclusion preschool (a SPD class that's situated with Head Start) for at least the first year.

In a dream world, I'd be sending them both to a "typical" private preschool when they're 4, but this isn't a dream world. And as you said, we really have to treat them as individuals. One of the school district officials even said, depending on how things go, we might enroll Car.sten in Kindergarten sooner than Al.ex. Now that is an extreme example, but we really do have to consider what is best for each of them individually before considering them as a unit.

And, nothing is set in stone. What you do the first year may not what be what you do in years after.

Sounds like we are on a similar page with all of this. Our evals with the school district will start in April. Al.ex will enroll in Oct.ober when he turns 3.

Keep us posted with your progress too.

CP Social said...

Dear Kelly
There is a new CP website and I suspect you will probably want to know about it. It’s for people who cope with cerebral palsy directly or indirectly, on a daily basis.

So what can I say about it. It pays to have a look because you’ll see we’ve taken our first steps and now want to increase membership to make it more useful for all who use it.

You are invited to open a blog, use the bookmark function, start polling, open a group or join an existing group, connect your Twitter or FriendFeed to your profile, and the options are growing all the time. Most of all, you can stay in touch with your friends and make new ones!

So, stay well and stay in touch.

The team