Today was the Big Assessment To Determine Jake’s Future. It wasn’t really called that, but that was certainly how it felt. Since Jake is going to time out of the Resource Exchange, which provides in-home therapy for children 2 years and under, we needed to meet with the school district who takes special needs children 3 years and up.
All of our in-home services will end on Jake’s third birthday (sniff, sniff since I love our therapists) and the only available option for Jake next is a special needs preschool. Within that option, there were a few ways he could qualify. If it was obvious he would benefit from more therapy (i.e., his future education would be impaired), he would be guaranteed a spot. If it wasn’t a sure thing that he would benefit from more therapy, he would be put on a waiting list to be admitted as a “typical peer”, which means a kiddo who would help model correct behavior and learning styles for the kids who need help, but he wouldn’t be allowed to work with the therapists. Or, we could be flat-out denied and I’d be on my own to either pay for therapy independently (um, not possible right now), or muddle through on my own.
Everyone involved in Jake’s current therapy agree that he really needs continuing therapy. So, this was a big day.
I have described all of our assessments to this point, so I’m not going to go into all of that right now. If you a curious about it, ask and I’ll find you another blog I wrote about the assessment process.
The good news is that Jake got approved to go to the preschool and approved to work with all of the therapists he needs!
Sometime in August, Jake will go to a preschool about five minutes away for a program either at 8:00 or one a bit later at 11:00. The program runs 2 hours and 45 minutes and sounds like a great option for us.
A few things that were identified beyond the Sensory Processing Disorder, were trouble with auditory processing (answering questions correctly and following directions) and some other language skills. For instance, Jake says “yes” to a picture of an elephant being a puppy, even though he knows what an elephant and a puppy look like, and his ability to understand and execute commands are a little lacking. If I tell him to go get his shoes, he might come back with a monkey instead, although that isn’t atypical of his age.
We set some goals in the areas he needs work and they handed me a plan that the teacher, aides, and therapists will be required to implement. For example, Jake will be asked to sit close to the teacher so he has less distraction, they will give him more time to answer a question correctly, and they will reward him with something he wants if he answers the question correctly. If he really wants to play with a toy that has multiple parts, they will ask him what color a part is, and when he answers it correctly, they will give him that part. More than most kids, Jake needs to make eye contact before giving instruction, and they will be sensitive to that. They will also take him out to the playground and help him be more aware of what could be dangerous-throwing sand in the air, walking too close to the edge of a drop-off, not paying attention to where steps are, etc.
We will get two parent/teacher conferences, as well as four reports throughout the year and promise of connection anytime I need to speak with the teacher.
So, good stuff!
And, how do I feel about all of this? Thank you for asking! That’s very kind. 🙂
We moved to Colorado mostly so I could stay home with Jake and not have to put him in preschool. So, according to God’s divine sense of humor, here we are looking at putting him in preschool. That’s been tough for me. The hard part was that I was told, by one of the school district reps, that it would be a four-hour program, four days a week. By the time I got him to school, picked him up, got him home and napped, it would be five by the time I saw him. Only being three years old when that begins happening is too early for me! It would be hard to be away from him for so many hours, but I also know how fatigued he gets after an hour or so and the last thing I want out of school is for it to make him tired and angry.
I reluctantly f0llowed the path towards preschool since I knew it would be good for him educationally and developementally. So, when he was approved today, I took a deep breath and decided to verify the hours. They said, “Oh, my goodness, no! That’s WAY too long. You have your choice between two classes, each running around 2 and a half hours.” In a heartbeat, all my misgivings melted away.
Another factor in all of this is that Jake’s bestest friend in the whole wide world comes to our house three days a week. If Jake was in preschool four hours a day, they wouldn’t get any play time together and that made me really, really, really sad. But, now, if we choose the morning session, Jake will be home only an hour or so after his friend gets to our house and they will have the rest of the day to be monkeys together. The fourth day of school, I will have to myself and that few hours of running or writing (or let me be honest, laying face down on my bed) are already becoming very appealing!
I’m so thankful for the therapy that has gotten us this far and am confident in handing off Jake’s future therapy into another set of capable hands.
This has been a very good day!
Here’s a little proof of all the progress I keep bragging about. A year ago, Jake was terrified of sand and yesterday, it took me ten minutes, a bath, and a hairbrush to get all the sand out of his hair. I’ll take progress in whatever form it comes!