It was only two weeks ago that a group of people met to discuss Brady: therapists of all kinds, parents, a school director and a nurse. This IEP meeting came after two assessments and many conversations regarding Brady. For those unfamiliar with the initials, an IEP meeting is when all those who are responsible for your child's education plan meet and document their plan and goals for the year. So we had Brady's new preschool therapists there -- OT, ST, PT -- plus the school nurse, the director, and the person in charge of the transition from Early Intervention to preschool. Also at the meeting were his EI therapists -- OT, ST, Development and PT -- to aid in the transition and offer their experience with Brady. Luckily for us, his OT is the same for EI and the preschool, because she got a job at the school and will continue on as his OT.
I have heard horror stories about IEPs and frustrated parents not getting what they wanted for their child. However, I was unusually calm about the whole process, mostly because I thought it was pretty clear cut what Brady needed and there really couldn't be any disagreement about that. Yes, I know some parents out there are calling me naive, but since it was black and white for me, I knew somewhere deep down it would all be fine. I believe our EI PT, who is like one of the family now, was worried I would roll over and take whatever they offered. She was taking my calmness for push-over-ness. She needn't have worried about that; I was calm because I wasn't going to TAKE less than what Brady needed, PERIOD!
Apparently, EI therapists are suppose to tell the preschool what they have done in the past and then sit quietly. This did NOT happen with Brady's therapists! They were very forward in offering advice in Brady's needs. Personally, I would think this should happen at ALL transition meetings -- who better to know the child than the therapists who just worked with him for three years? Later, one therapist asked me if I was upset with her boldness and I replied absolutely not, and thank you!
There was no knock-down-and-drag-'em fight though -- all agreed the more therapy the better for Brady, and we only needed to ask for one more speech session to come to an agreement. The biggest change is that fact that while Brady is having two sessions of OT a week at the preschool like in EI, the sessions are 30-minute sessions rather than 60-minute sessions (Actually, at EI I believe they are 45 minute but they were always with him for at least an hour). This is a big deal for PT -- going from three hours a week to one (3 sessions at 60-minutes verse 2 sessions at 30-minutes). Some days we go in a little early or stay late to get all his therapy sessions in, but I think it will work out fine. I am comforted in knowing he will be doing more PT, OT and ST during the regular class time in regards to play, circle time, etc. He also has someone with him at all times, which was a concern for his EI therapists. Phew! This all went like clockwork.
So, last week we went for an hour to the classroom , where he played with the water table and had snack with his "friends". He is such a peanut in there -- he comes up to the shoulder of the shortest kid in there. He did great, and continued to do great when he started on Tuesday. In fact, he walked in with his walker and went right to the water table! Got a sharp memory, that one!
Brady is going every day but Wednesday, which I will plan his Music Therapy and try to make doctor appointments, or just chilling out time. He's at the school for anywhere from 2-1/2-hours to 3-hours a day. How strange to have him be somewhere else, not at home waiting for the next therapist to come. I'm transitioning pretty well, too :)