Well, turning three years old is a big deal in many respects. For kids who get special services (early intervention) it means that the birth-three services end and the school district takes over continuing services if a child is "eligible" to receive services. A couple months ago we started the process of determining eligibility (testing) and today we had the meeting to go over the results. Drum roll please...
... CONNIE IS INELIGIBLE!!!!
That's right, our boy has made so much progress thanks to Ms. Chris, Ms. Deb, Ms. Carla, Ms. Jen, his doctors and nurses and of course his family that he scored too high on the testing to qualify for speech/language or PT services. HOWEVER, because he has had so many ongoing health issues, hospitalizations, etc. he is still slightly below his peers in the area of communication and gross motor development so the district's philosophy is that it's better to give him services now rather than waiting until he's five or six and then saying, "Oh, he's fallen behind and now it will impact his education." They will use his cardiac issues to give him a diagnosis of "Other Health Impaired" which will give him to opportunity to receive speech and PT services in a preschool setting. Some kids just go to therapy a couple times a week and meet one on one or in a small group with a therapist, but the team felt strongly that he would get the most benefit from being around typically developing peers as models for speech and motor development. Therefore, he will go to preschool two mornings a week in a class of 14 students, most of which are typically developing children. He will have two teachers and an aide and throughout the day, PT and Speech therapists will push in to his class and work with him or any other kids who need those services as well. Then one morning a week he will be in a small class of five students who are all working on speech issues. The best part for him is that he will get to ride a school bus! We are going to start by taking him and picking him up for a while, but they said that once the kids see their friends riding the bus they start asking for it too. I'm sure once the new baby is here and we're juggling nursing with MK's preschool schedule, etc. it will be nice to have that convenience available!
Tomorrow we'll take him to see his classroom and meet his teachers and classmates and then he will have his first official day on Thursday. Please pray for him and us as we make this transition. Being a teacher, I want him to love school and it seems that he does love his little class he's been going to once a week, but this is a big step for him and in a new building with new faces and a lot more kids! Pray that God helps him be open to all the joy and fun and exciting times that await him.