Thursday, February 21, 2013

THREE....Here we come!!

We're sitting at home enjoying a snow day today in our jammies!  While I don't really love using our snow days, it's nice to cuddle on the couch with the boys.

Luke had his diagnostic testing with Parkway, our school district, Tuesday.  His third birthday is approaching at lightning speed.  When he turns three are are officially booted out of First Steps. 

After initially screaming at the testers for a few minutes, Luke calmed down and really strutted his stuff!  On the way in I told him he really didn't need to show off but he didn't listen to usual.  The testing with Parkway was to determine if he would qualify for special school district services.  Luke has done so well with therapy the last three years I want to make sure we are able to continue getting him the best services possible - although I doubt we can ever top the therapists we have had so far. 

To qualify for services, a child has to show a major delay in one area or a minor delay in at least two areas.  Luke was tested in the areas of communication, adaptive behavior, physical development (fine and gross motor skills), and social-emotional.  Several specialists played with Luke for about 2 1/2 hours.  He was a champ! 

Luke did qualify for services.  At this time he is considered a 'young child with a developmental delay (YCDD).  He showed a delay in fine and gross motor skills as well as adaptive behavior.  Adaptive behavior means that they will continue to support his feeding issues (over stuffing mouth mostly) and personal self help skills such as dressing.  Luke is able to pull his pants off and on but we really haven't had him try to put his shirt on or take it off.  We struggle with putting on and removing his shirt so I doubt we'll have him tackle that for awhile anyway! 

There was a teacher that went and observed Luke in his classroom a few weeks ago.  She went over her visit in the classroom which was a little hard to hear.  I've noticed when we're around friends, Luke rarely interacts with the other kids.  He stays around the adults.  He likes to laugh at other kids but tends to get stressed out when it's noisy or crazy.  The lady who observed Luke in his classroom noted that he had very little interaction with the other children in the 80 minutes she was there.  He tends to stay around the adults.  Part of me wonders if that's because he's been surrounded by therapists/doctors since birth...

Reading while waiting for test results...

Anyway, he did not technically qualify for speech/language therapy since he didn't show a delay in communication which is amazing and stressful to me!  It's amazing because it shows just how far he's come in the last year in therapy.  Stressful because he's doing so well because of the level of support he's had.  The therapist who tested him said that because he qualified as YCDD they'll be able to support his communication needs as well.  I'm not 100% sure what that means yet.  We'll know more when we have his official IEP.  He knows a lot of words now and has 'rote' conversation. What I mean by that is that Luke knows types of conversations but rarely participates in spontaneous conversation.  When I go in his room in the morning, he always says, "Good morning, Mommy.  I slept good."  It doesn't matter if he did or didn't!  He has an answer for how his day was at school and various other conversation topics.  However he can't, at this time, just rattle off the things he did at school or tell us things that happened.  But he's making great strides in this area and hopefully he'll still get enough support through the school system to continue growth. 

They also gave Luke a cognitive test.  The school psychologist (I believe) was the one who administered it.  She said she did it while the other therapists were testing him and he seemed to be getting tired.  She did not feel he did as well as he could have.  A score of 85 is the low end of  average.  Luke scored an 80.  Whether or not he could have done better doesn't really matter to me.  I am ecstatic about an 80. 

Now we wait until his IEP is scheduled to find out what his school placement is and also what minutes he'll receive for therapy.  There's a senate bill that allows a child whose birthday falls between October and March to continue with their First Steps providers until August.  We're hoping to be approved for this.  We will have to follow the IEP, though, and he will only receive the minutes of therapy allotted by the school district.  I'm also struggling because our school district is really good and I know getting Luke into a formal school setting will help him continue to make progress.

I had the opportunity to visit Parkway's Early Childhood Center a few weeks ago (after I registered Ben for kindergarten...eek!).  I was very impressed with the classrooms and the level of support offered to the children.  Luke's daycare works really hard with him but they don't have as many people in the classroom as would be in the school setting.  I'm really torn on what would be best for Luke at this point in time.  I hope the IEP meeting brings me some clarity on what we should do! 

We've started back up with Equine Therapy.  Luke was really excited to go back...until  we got there.  This time he was only upset for about 30 seconds and his fabulous ladies started singing to him and he was fine!  The pictures are from my phone so they're pretty bad...sorry! 

Hope everyone's staying safe in this crazy weather!!