Saturday, October 10, 2009

Transition - Getting Ready

Next week is the first meeting in the transition process for Goldie. She won't be 3 until March and right in the middle of now and then I'll be having a baby. I've been dreading this since our first IFSP meeting. Honestly, I would like to say "no thank-you" and go back to having a "normal" life where I don't have to deal with THE SYSTEM. I think part of the reason I find this so daunting is that none of my kids went to preschool. I was the lone mom in my circle of friends who didn't believe in preschool. I do believe most parents provide all the enrichment any preschooler needs. They have many years of school ahead of them, why let them get burnt out before kindergarten? Childhood is short and I want my girls to have as much of it as possible, TOGETHER. The day will come when they don't share a roof over their heads, let alone a bedroom and these years will be what bonds them for life.

I was all set to send Goldie off to school when she turned 3, sort of. Then, sometime in the last year I started thinking that everything I believed was best for my other children could still be what's best for Goldie. Does she deserve less time chasing chickens and making blanket forts because she has a disability? Is there anything preschool will teach her that I or her siblings can't?

Of course, she does have different needs than her sisters. Can I meet them? Yes. But, I know when I need help. Hank and I talked and (as of now, plans may change as we get more information) we will not be sending Goldie to pre-k in March. Our plan is to send her to a typical pre-k, twice a week, in the fall, following her 3rd birthday. I don't think its wise to send her off to school less than 12 weeks after getting a new sibling. I know from experience that can be a rough time for the youngest.

This plan means we have to decide how Goldie will get her speech and OT services. I thought I had that figured out, until the Service Coordinator was telling me the laws changed back in January. I've been told we can bring her to the school, just for her services. I've also been told the state doesn't allow any one-on-one therapies. Her current OT and ST both feel that all of her needs will not be met by the school district and that she would need private therapy in addition to what the school provides. Fortunately, a pediatric therapy center opened up a mile and a half from our house. Still, my head is swimming with the different choices and if they are even choices we will have. I hope to have some answers next week and a clearer picture of what will happen when she turns 3.

On another note, Goldie met an OT goal this week. The one were she learns to remove her pants. She even went above and beyond and took off her diaper. Sorry, no picture! But, here's another cute one I had to share.

I should add that is a water baby in the sling. It is much heavier than our other baby dolls and is a sneaky way to help Goldie with her arm strength!


SunflowerMom said...

I think waiting til fall is a great idea! You are right, she is going to learn and meet goals at home just as fast as at school.

Love the doll sling! I can't wait til Ella is old enough for one. Is the water baby a store bought doll or one from a specialty place? Like a Waldorf doll? I've looked at those Waldorf Heavy Babies, but man are they pricey!

Michelle said...

I don't think there is anything wrong with your decision...and I hope it won't be too complicated to get OT/ST figured out!

and how cute IS she in that picture wearing that sling?!

Sasha said...

I hope everything works out for you. Sounds like a good choose sending her in fall instead of after the baby arrives.

Love the baby in the sling..Goldie is such a cutie

Monica said...

She is such a cutie!!! She looks like such a big girl with her hair pulled back!! And what a great sneaky idea for upper strength!!!

I think you are definitely making a good choice in waiting until the fall especially with a new baby coming.

Beverly said...

I think you have made good choices. Noah did attend the school there when he turned 3. The teacher and aides and therapist were all very nice. We had visited a lot of the schools before picking one. We were lucky that a lot of kids were around Noah's age going to the same school all with ds and it was a nice little family. Noah also got outside therapies down rt 8. I know everything will be fine for Goldie. Love her cute photo!

Mel said...

Stick to what works for you. I have just finished reading a book written by a NZ mum whose daughter with DS was her 5th child and is now in her 30s. She lives independently, drives a car, works, and is very successful. Her mother's advice was to include our kids in every day life, and have high expectations of them. You know what is best for Goldie, and the system should be individual- and meet her needs.
My Emily is 3 and started afternoon kindergarten at 3 years 3 months. Just 3 2 hour long sessions a week. Perfect for us :)

Megan said...

Have you read Disability is Natural? If not, I think you'd like it. :o)

Keep on keepin' on. It's so easy to doubt your gut when you feel like so much is riding on one little decision.

Karen said...

If you think Goldie can learn well at home, I'm a huge proponent of keeping them there for as long as possible. Micah was not a candidate for that AT ALL. But the preschool he attended just for therapy (in my opinion) was 3 morning per week, so it wasn't like he was gone a lot. These decisions are sometimes the hardest ones to make.

Ruby's Mom said...

I think that you are making a good decision not to send Goldie to school at the same time she is adjusting to a new sibling.
One of the head therapists at the place where I take Ruby has a 16 year old daughter with Ds and she told me that she waited and did not send her daughter to school when she was 3.She said her daughter was not ready and neither was she.It did not harm her daughter any to wait.
Praying for you.I know you have alot going on right now.
Love the picture of Goldie.She is getting so big and is gorgeous!