Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Preschool Program

Well, this is great news! A couple of weeks ago we found out that Avery qualifies for the REACH preschool program! We're so excited about this, because after going to the meetings and hearing about how they help these children, I think it's going to do her the world of good! And not only that, but I think that she will love it too. To qualify for the program the child has to have a developmental delay in at least 2 areas. We went for her evaluation back in April, which took probably about an hour and a half. When we arrived, Avery went with two therapists (occupational and speech I think) to be evaluated, while I went with another lady who's job it was to ask me all sorts of questions about her to get some idea of what life at home is like and what she's capable of. Avery had a great time playing with the two ladies, and was gone for probabloy almost an hour, and of course they came in gushing about how sweet she is - she has such a knack for making people fall in love with her!
Anyway, the areas they graded her in are as follows: Gross motor, Fine motor, Cognitive, Language, Self-help, and Social/emotional. At the time of testing she was 26 months old, and this is how they graded her, with age-equivelence and delay percentages:
  • Gross Motor: 10 months (62%)
  • Fine Motor: 18 months (31%)
  • Cognitive: 21 months (20%)
  • Language: 24 months (8%)
  • Self-help: 18 months (31%)
  • Social/Emotional: 24 months (8%)

I was actually a little concerned that she wouldn't qualify for the program because while I knew for sure that she was way behind in gross motor skills since she can't walk, but I didn't know whether there would be enough of a delay in another area since she's so smart, and with this new baby arriving in August, I was really hoping and praying that she would get into the program so that she gets the extra help it will give her! I'm already so much more limited in how much I can do with her every day, because my pregnant body just won't let me get down on the floor with her or bend down to help her walk and stretch etc as much as I would like to, and I feel really bad about that, and then once the baby arrives I will be able to physically do all that stuff again, but I just won't be able to devote as much time to her therapy as I have in the past since I'll also have a newborn to care for. So I am thrilled that she'll be getting that help from preschool too!! I can't believe she's old enough to be leaving me for any amount of time though!!! But I am comforted by the thought that I know she will absolutely love it. She loves being around other children, and these days when I take her to nursery at church she's saying goodbye to me before I even put her down! She just loves it!

So anyway, we don't know yet exactly when she'll be starting or how many mornings a week it will be, and the next step is drawing up her Individual Education Plan (IEP), but I'm excited that at least know we know she will be going, and it will be great for her. Having other children around her who are walking will be such a great motivation for her!

We're still struggling with the valium question, so if there's anyone out there who can share their experiences and advice, please do!!! Thanks!

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