Welcome to my blog!

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and visit! We hope to share with you our journey of raising a child with Achondroplasia, the most common type of dwarfism. If this is your first time here, please start by reading Caitlyn's Story. It will share the beginning of her life with you. Enjoy!

Monday, August 18, 2008

It's Almost Preschool Time!

We have what is called a Co-op Inclusion Preschool in town and are wanting to get Caty in. Not sure if you know what a co-op is but it's basically a preschool program that the parents participate in. For the "average child" the parents have to pay a monthly fee of $75 and put in 20 hours a month - split between working in the class and attending parent meetings. Well the inclusion part is their special education classroom. There is the preschool class and the special ed class, which are not actually separated but the kids are all jumbled together between the two rooms. Since being a dwarf is conditioned a disability we figured that we would see what we could do about Caitlyn in, because if they assessed her as being "disabled" then she could get into the special ed class, without any cost to us and I will not have to put in the required hours. So I guess that we are trying to take advantage of this, but hey, why not!

Caitlyn and I met with a school psychologist and speech therapist on Wednesday, August 13th. They went through a bunch of stuff with her - from building blocks into stacks - to her answering questions asked by the psychologist (out of the four animals show me the one that moos, etc) - to finding out from me some of the daily struggles that Caty might have (getting on the potty herself, to reaching things that are too high). These are just a few of the things we went over; we were there for an hour and a half. Now we are well aware that Caitlyn is not behind cognitively AT ALL!! If anything sometimes I think that she's too smart for her own good, but it's just the height issue that gets in her way - which isn't very often because she figures out other ways of doing things. The speech therapist commented on her speech, which she has no problem talking, it's just that some of the sounds don't come out as they should. Now some of that is because she is 3, but some of the speech issues are due to being a dwarf - the jaws lining up incorrectly and causing the sounds to not form as they should. So she will be able to get help with her speech.

Our next step is to get the IEP (Individualized Education Plan) done to figure out exactly what she is going to need in the classroom to allow her to do all the things the rest of the class will be doing. We will be meeting with the school psychologist, speech therapist, IEP coordinator and Ms Mary (the special ed teacher at the preschool) this coming Wednesday the 20th. We'll set up a plan for Caty - going over the things that she'll need in to class (step stools, etc) to helping her use the potty, etc. She is raring to go to school and we don't want to get in her way there, as she has always had such a hard time separating from me. If she's ready to go by herself to school, we don't want to wait much longer.

I'll keep you posted as to how the IEP goes.


Jillsblog said...

We have a very similar sounding program for JD here in our town. He went through all the testing as well, and we found what sounds like similar speech findings. We are not doing an IEP, but possibly a 504, which is just modifications to the classroom and some speech therapy.

They are great programs and kids are introduced to children with "special" needs in a great way!!!

Good luck and keep a box of tissues handy for her first day!!!

Lisa said...

We don't have a co-op preschool close by, but I've heard great things about them. we haven't done an IEP for Liz, but may later. I'll be interested to hear more about preschool and the pics. We've got an open house tomorrow night. Should be interesting. Keep us all posted!

The A Team said...

oh, lucky. i'd love to get noah into a co-op preschool here but there aren't any around.

good luck with your baby starting school....mine starts monday (ahhhhh).

TheFiveDays said...

Good luck with the IEP! Caty is going to do great in school! :)

Mike said...

The co-op idea sounds like fun! It lets you still be involved in what she's doing, but she still gets socialized and you get some time off, too! I love all the info about Caitlyn's assessment and IEP - I'm actually about 2/3 of the way through Caitlin's, but I'm already behind since she's seen a speech pathologist once already, and Cherylle and I both went to the Special Education parents support group on Wednesday! argh... maybe I should be writing there instead of commenting here, eh?

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