Friday, February 25

School is in session

Yesterday started with a meeting that we had requested with one of our favorite state agencies "Washington Sensory and Disability services" and our wonderful preschool class to see *if* we are on track with meeting Tommy's needs for learning styles, environment, sensory issues and just also to talk about the next year.

K, the consultant from the state spent two hours observing Tommy and how we accessed his education thru the multi modes that the preschool has.  He is four now and still non-verbal, so he uses the picture system and sign and lots of vocalization/wiggley bum/pointing to get his needs met within the classroom.  Tommy has been very fortunate to have what feels like, although technically never said, an aide that signs. 

The summary from K and the preschool teachers was very positive and focused on all types of resources for Tommy to increase his language (sign, picture, verbal) to 100 words and then over the next year to 300 words.  His chewing and licking was addressed a bit also which gave me lots of ideas on how to meet his sensory seeking in that area (literally he is chewing clothing and licking most smooth surfaces, gross). 

Even though I teared up a couple of times realizing some of his abilities are still around 18 month, the meeting was fantastic and I'm amazed at the skill sets of the preschool teachers and the consultant.  God has placed such wonderful people in our path and they love Tommy just as much as we do!  I've decided to post Tommy's IEP, the consultant's report plus a summary of a bibliography I was given on resources for language for kids with Ds.... soon. 

The afternoon included a phone meeting with Hannah and Nate's high school counselor.  Heavy sigh.  I have been fighting a battle with the HS to get Nate's semester grades to include his prior work at the private school.  A long battle.  And yesterday it was confirmed that I had less than a 1% chance of success in getting the teachers to include his prior school work.  Makes no sense.  So, his grades reflect a kid lost within a HS paperwork system and not one of a kid's progress, aptitude and skills.  I also asked the school to meet with Nate because he wants to adjust one of his classes and again they were stuck within their 'system' of protocols.  Grrr.  We also spoke about SAT and ACT testing for both of them in preparation for college applications.  I apologized for my grouchiness in much of the latest emails and in person meetings, and the counselor shared that I'm fighting *really* hard for my kids, and although uncomfortable for all, it's out of love and they realize that.  They are just paralyzed within systems.  We closed the conversation talking about substance abuse counseling and that has been going well, so I believe he is on track for growing some adult life long skills in that area that has been slightly tough (very minor type of substances though). 

And one piece of good news came in the mail, Tommy is requalified for DD services thru our State!  At age four he was dropped from the program because I didn't do 'something' with 'paper' 'you should have received'.  So I spent a lunch hour and two dollars in parking meter to share with the state that "HE STILL HAS DOWN SYNDROME".  Sent paperwork to my doctor.  And he is requalified.  Yippee!  I love a good ending. 

Today it's off to work and frigid temperatures and it's Friday!  Enjoy your weekend. 

Tommy Adventures