Friday, May 20, 2011

May 20, 2011 - Time flies

I can't believe it's already been almost a month since my last post. Time is flying by. Brennan is already 10 weeks old and she is getting huge. It's crazy! Well, I only have a few minutes to write before Conner is done with school but thought I would write a quick update.

Conner is doing great. We had his 3 year evaluation at school (not because he is 3 years old, but because every 3 years, they have to re-qualify for the program at the public school). So we did that last week and then this week we got the results and did Conner's (preliminary) IEP. We haven't signed anything yet because we are still in the decision making process, but things are looking pretty good. So first of all, the people doing the testing are his school speech pathologist who knows him pretty well from this school year, an OT, PT, case manager, and a school psychologist. They test his speech/language skills, fine and gross motor skills, ability to perform activities of daily living, socialization. The speech stuff was done over a 2 week period and Conner did great. He tests just at the low-average range for his age, which, considering how far behind he was at the beginning of the year is pretty incredible. We are very pleased with this. His gross motor skills test at just slightly below his age range, mostly because of jumping and balance, two things that may be challenging for a long time, possibly forever because of Conner's low tone. But, the PT is very happy with how far he has come (she evaluated him at 6 months old!). Fine motor skills are currently Conner's biggest and most difficult challenge. As I have probably said before, his hands just don't work how he wants them too. He works very hard to compensate and hopefully we can come up with some adaptive stuff to help. His private OT has started a few things that seem to be really helping. We need to work on being able to dress himself and potty training. Socially, Conner is right up there with his peers.

So we were very happy with how the evaluation went. They really seem to "get" Conner and see him for how far he can go and not his limitations. He was originally in the program under the category "Otherwise Health Impaired" or OHI. He has a medical diagnosis, but because he does not have any major physical limitations based on his CP diagnosis, they had to find a new category for him. So now he is categorized as Speech and Language Delayed. It really doesn't matter what category he is in, he will still receive the same services.

This week, we had the IEP where they tell us their recommendations. As expected, they recommend their special ed preschool program that meets 5 days a week. This is the same recommendation they made last year and we weren't that happy about it. But this year, they acknowledge that unfortunately, that is really all that our district has for kids like Conner. They don't seem to think it is an ideal situation, so they are working with us on a combined day. We are going to try to send Conner to the public general education preschool program in the morning and for lunch and then he will go to the PAL (special ed) class in the afternoon. It's all in the same building. If they find after a while that this is not a good/proper placement for him, then they will allow him to be in the gen ed class but with some extra help. This is a new option that they have had for the past year. Because Conner needs help in 2 areas primarily (OT and Speech), they want us to do the special ed class. I went to visit the preschool this morning and have been asking a lot of other mom's about their experiences and everyone has only positive things to say about it. It will be a change because Conner will lose the Jewish content and Shabbat which he absolutely loves, but it is a sacrifice we are going to make right now. We are going to have to just try to make up for it at home and teach him this stuff ourselves. He will also be leaving his little friends and we will also be leaving our comfort zone, but that was going to happen eventually anyway. The class we are trying to get Conner in will most likely be something he does for 2 years, so maybe next year, he can stay in the gen ed room all day. That is our goal. I left a deposit this morning but the details still have to work out. SO I'm really hoping that it works out and feel pretty good about it, the best I've felt about it in a long time. I hope Conner adjusts well to a new camp and then a new school. It's a lot for my little boy all at once.

Quickly, about Brennan...when she was 8 weeks old, David took her for a shot and she was up to 11 pounds. She's even more already. She seems huge. She is cute as a button and we are loving her to pieces. Conner absolutely LOVES her and I hope they will be the best of friends. Brennan moved to her crib on May 5 and adjusted great. She sleeps just as good in her crib as in the bassinet and has more room to move. She discovered her hands this week and has been sucking on them when she can't find her pacifier. She is doing okay with the swing and bouncy seat, but they aren't her favorite. So far, what she really loves is the playmat that I bought her. She loves it. And she also really likes when we sit her up or stand her up. She is going to LOVE a Bumbo and a jumper/exersaucer when she is a little bigger. She is very happy baby except at about 6-8 at night...that is her unhappy time for sure...but nothing too bad. I'll write more about her soon but have to run!