Wednesday, May 20, 2015

My Baby is Growing Up :(

Hello Poor Neglected Blog,

   We have kind of just been plugging along without much excitement to report.

    The past two months, we have been in the process of getting all of Bryce's preschool evaluations done. Yes, you read that right. BRYCE. PRESCHOOL. I can't even believe it.

    There is a lot that goes into starting preschool when a child has special needs. Since Bryce has a summer birthday, they had to start doing all of his evals this spring in order to get it all done and written up before the end of the school year. That way, when he starts school in the fall, everything will be ready to go.

    As part of the special ed program, Bryce will be in school every morning--five mornings a week. He'll be in an inclusive classroom three days a week, and a special ed classroom the other two. Those two days, he will work with his speech therapist, OT, PT, etc. He is still my baby in so many ways, I just can't wrap my head around him sitting and participating in a classroom every morning! He will love it, and I'm sure he'll do well, but I just can't fathom it. Luckily, we still have a few months!

   Leading up to the evaluation results meeting, his early intervention teacher  warned me that they can be very difficult meetings. As a teacher, I know these reports need to be deficit-based in order for kids to qualify for different services. We recieved the report in the mail last Friday and had the weekend to look it over. It was lengthy, and nothing was really a surprise, but it is still difficult to see  the short "can do" list, and long "can't do" list. It is hard to see your child in the single-digit percentiles. (Except for his rockin' fine motor skills--in the average range for all kids his age!!)

    But you know what else? These evaluators (most of which didn't know him prior to the evaluations) also saw his strengths....and he has lots of them. They fell in love with him, as most people do. They really did a good job of capturing the whole Bryce (as much as one can in an hour-long evaluation).

    Yesterday, we finally had the meeting to discuss results, ask questions, talk about the school plan, and look over the draft of his IEP (Individualized Education Plan). As I sat around the long table in the conference room of his future school, I was amazed by how many people are already invested in him. I also know (as a teacher) how most of us feel about IEP meetings...especially IEP meetings at 3 pm--blech. But, in some way, these people were all invested in doing what's best for Bryce. We got to meet his teacher for next fall and hear about all the ways they are going to keep him safe and learning and growing next year. The speech therapist, adaptive phy ed teacher, OT, PT, principal, and early intervention teachers were all there, as well as the evaluation team. All for our Brycey.

   The meeting was not at all scary or negative--in fact, it started with the cognitive evaluator giving us (Bryce) the best, most encouraging compliment I could have asked for--and have been wanting to hear since he was born (I'm not going to write it here, but just know it was a VERY encouraging statement :).

   While I still can't imagine him in school, I feel pretty darn good about the hands we are placing him in. We are blessed with that one, indeed.

    Happy early Memorial Day, friends! NINE more days of school for Connor and me. Whoop whoop!