The list of wonderful things about this transition:
-I have two close friends who work at the school where Greer will be going. -They RAVE about the teacher that Greer will have.
-One friend, has a daughter in the class.
-The school is a brand new school around the corner from our house.
-I have heard it is one of the best SPED preschools in our town.
The list of reservations I am having to overcome:
-Parents are not allowed in the classroom during class time. Have parents never challenged this and not wanted to be welcome in their PRESCHOOLERS class? I don't want to go and stay daily but knowing that I can't is not very comforting.
-The therapy he will get is consultative. As in, the therapists will set up a plan and have the teacher and aids follow through. You know, in addition to teaching the 10 other kids in the class.
-Sending our 3 year old to school 5 days per week. Although it is only a half day. That's seems overwhelming for him and us.
While he will continue therapy services, it is not comparable to what he is getting now which is 6 hours of concentrated therapy. One on One with a therapist. Our insurance only covers an additional 20 visits per year. We are going to have to see what we can do outside of that and prioritize it. I believe speech therapy will be one of the most concentrated he will get in school. Physical Therapy is what we really want to look into in addition to what he gets at school. Hippo therapy (horse therapy) is something that interests us too. It is a form of physical therapy. Others have raved about the progress their children have made through this kind of therapy. From what we have found, it is expensive. We are looking into things and praying about how to work it out.
He loves school and thrives in the environment at his 2 day a week preschool now. I know that doing school more frequently will have it's advantages.
As we move toward this, we are easing into the school system.
Last Tuesday was a big day. I took Greer to the school for his developmental evaluation.
We sat down with the director of the program, a psychologist, and a speech therapist. They evaluated Greer over a 2 hour period. He charmed the socks right off of everyone. He was flashing his crooked Elvis smile and being silly when he got the chance. He even giggled uncontrollably and if you've ever had the pleasure of experiencing his goofy giggle laugh you'd know he had you the moment he stuck that little tongue out and bobbled his head around as he laughs. That smile gets him VERY far VERY fast :) The giggle has you at hello! Sometimes it's hard to get though. I was surprised and relieved he warmed up so quickly. I was afraid he would not "perform" for strangers on demand. Me being there helped :)
They didn't share all of the results but the speech therapist did share that he hit the 33 month level in receptive language. This is the part of understanding language. He totally knows what's up. He identified all pictures and actions and colors. The therapist was impressed. I loved hearing it. We know he is smart. We know he knows what is going on but to have it confirmed on an actual evaluation, I could have jumped right out of my seat and through the ceiling I was so elated. As exciting as it is, it also breaks my heart. It truly is like he is trapped inside that body of his. Speech and motor limitations keep him from being able to use and express all of the smarts. I only think that way for a second though BECAUSE it's that much more motivating to us. This keeps us fighting for and with him to find ways to break through or work around what holds him back. I do think that school might present a more cohesive experience as we move forward with him and make a plan for him.
On our way out, we were able to meet his teacher, the principal, and the guidance counselor. We loved each of them and they each connected with Greer. That isn't how it normally works, but the Lord just happened to have us all in the same place at the same time.
This journey is a crazy one, but for some reason, it's come very naturally even through the hard parts. We acknowledge that they are hard but we just take the next step! What's that quote? "Faith is taking the next step even when you can't see the entire staircase!?"
We are blessed to call Greer our son and to journey forward with and for him! Next up, the IEP meeting. The group that evaluated him will meet with us, the teacher, the school therapists, and principal, and will present a plan they think will work for him in school. It will include goals and the amount of therapy the system will provide This is a first for us. We are praying our way right through it. I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, if I could ask you to pray for my Mama heart, for clarity of direction, and for favor with the school system with meeting Greer's needs we, would greatly appreciate it.