May 9, 2017

The One with the 4 1/2 Year Old Who is a Peer Kid

Yup, you read that right. Some of you might be confused because it's been so long since I have updated this story that started back when Addie was about 18 months. But the very short story is that Addie for the last two years has had an IEP. Last year she went to just speech at her local school twice a week all year. Then at the end of last year we decided we wanted her in the classroom, so this year she has been going four days a week in the mornings to preschool. She has been getting PT and speech therapy, plus a few other social goals. She has been indirectly working with the OT with her fine motor skills (the OT has never been worried about her fine motor but just has kept an eye on her when she's in the classroom).

But now Addison is just a normal preschooler who has caught up with her peers and has therefore been discharged from the IEP program!

It was over a month ago during a parent teacher conference that her teacher brought up with us that they wanted to re-evaluate Addison. They had felt she had come so far and they wanted to make sure the goals that we have for her are the best goals. Plus they wanted to make sure the services they were provided she still needed. Then we had paperwork and signed off on her being evaluated again.

And it was here that the nerves really kicked in. As we continued on in this process we started asking questions on what this would mean. If she was found to be a peer kid could she finish out the year as a peer kid in her current classroom? What if she just needed one service and didn't qualify for this classroom anymore?

And the answers didn't make me feel any better. If she didn't qualify for this classroom she would be done for the year and not able to continue but would be in a less-restrictive classroom. If she was discharged from the program all together then she wouldn't be able to continue where she was. So I started getting through to directors and anyone who would listen about this asking if she could finish the year if she was discharged from the program. I stated that I understood they had to do what was in the best interest of students but not letting her finish the year with her friends wouldn't be good for her. She would be heartbroken.

Then it was all a waiting game. Rob told me that what happens happens and it's out of our hands. I did what I could and we would just have to wait to see what happens. But I still felt anxious about it. I didn't want to be the one to tell her she couldn't go to school with her friends anymore.

Then about a week and half later I heard from her teacher that they were making an exception and she would be able to finish the year out in the classroom as a peer if she was discharged from the program. We were told that they never do things like this but I must have tugged on some heartstrings somewhere. So that made me feel better.

But we still had to get through the evaluation. I knew she would pass as a peer on other areas except for speech. I was so doubtful about speech. I listened to her talk and didn't think she was too far from the peer kids I had heard talk but I also knew I could understand her better than anyone else. I wasn't worried about any other area just because we had already talked about going indirect with her PT and the kid was coming home with her name written by her on all her papers, plus she was spelling words when asked and able to identify sounds of letters.

All we could do at this point was wait through.

Then at the end of April we had our meeting to find out the results of the evaluation. I was a bundle of nerves going into it. But also ready to know one way or another. They tested her based on some assessment they do on kids ages 3-6. So as we started discussing their findings we were remembering
that she is 4 1/5 so age-wise she is right in the middle of this age range. But all the numbers were coming across 85%, 83% 86% and such. She was on the higher range with her skill level and what she could do. As it turns out she is all kinds of smart.

Then we got to the speech portion which was 75%. At the moment I saw that number I knew she would be discharged from the program. She had done it. She didn't qualify for services anymore. That weight was suddenly lifted once I saw where she was with speech. They hadn't even finished but I knew what that number meant.

We finished off and sure enough she didn't qualify anymore. Her teacher told me that she had never had a kid be discharged from the program and make the strides forward that Addison. They all said that especially once they came back from Christmas break she was like a different kid and able to do so much more each day. Her teacher told me that starting out the year she was shy and quiet but now she has been very much like a peer kid and a great leader in the classroom.

I thanked them all for working so hard with her and getting her where she needed to be. They told me it was just as much us working with her everyday at home. We signed the paperwork discharging her and told she would be returning the next day just the same only as a peer kid now.

It was just an amazing feeling. This little girl who has been fighting with one thing after another since 18 months. The little girl who had an MRI on her brain. The little girl who we fought for so long to get her moving after she regressed. The little girl who couldn't communicate with us for so long. The little girl who wore ankle braces for about a year to correct her turned in ankles. The little girl who understood us but couldn't say anything more than dada. The little girl who went through Infant Toddler Services. The little girl who went to lots of doctors. That little girl was finally done with the fight. She was deemed with no developmental delays and was now just a peer kid.

I am so proud of her and all that she has gone through. She is a fighter and just keeps pushing through. My brilliant little girl can just be her. So I guess that also ends this series. I started this to make other parents who might go through something like this not feel so alone. I hope that I have been able to do just that. Every step has been hard and I have spent a lot of time questioning if I was making the best decisions for her and trying to get her on the right track. But now that we got her to where she's meant to be (even beyond that) it's time to put a close to this series. And I happily do so because my delayed kid caught up and is now on par with all her peers.

Check Out the Full Story::
The One with the 3 1/2 Year Old Who Is Done with the Neurologist
The One with the 42 Month Old Who Is Thriving
The One with the 38 Month Old Who Is In Speech Therapy
The One with the Preschool Evaluation: Part II
The One with the 25 Month Old Who Is Done with Infant Toddler Services
The One with the Preschool Evaluation: Part I
The One with the 34 Month Old Who Doesn't Wear Ankle Braces Anymore
The One with the 31 Month Old Who Has Something To Say
The One with the 29 Month Old Who Isn't Talking
The One with the 26 Month Who Who...
The One with the Girl Who Turns Two in a Day
The One with the 23 Month Old Who Wears Ankle Braces
The One with the 21 Month Old Who Did This
The One with the 21 Month Old Who Is Trying to Walk and Talk and Going to Get Help
The One with the 20 Month Old Who Still Isn't Walking
The One with the 18 Month Old Who Can't Walk

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