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!