Friday, December 10, 2010

School Girl

Morgan started her new (and second) preschool on Tuesday. I just looked back in my posts and realized I haven't talked much about Morgan's developmental issues much lately. On her birthday she aged out of the Early Intervention program (EI). Back in September we had a "transition" meeting with the psychologist from the school district as well as a representative from EI. They told us what the options might be for continued therapy as well as a possible preschool program. We then scheduled her evaluation for mid-November, so she would be able to start as soon as she turned three.

The evaluation was pretty intense. There was a speech therapist, occupational therapist (fine motor) and the psychologist all taking turns asking her questions and asking her to perform tasks. There was woman who also tried to test her hearing and vision. Morgan did not cooperate well with this (tell me what almost three year old would want to put earphones on their head?!), but it was determined that her hearing and vision are fine. Finally she met with the physical therapist who put her through her paces... and let her jump on a trampoline a lot, which she loved!

A week later the psychologist called to discuss the results. She said Morgan had been "keeping her up at night" because she wanted to figure out what was best for her. Morgan (at that point) didn't have any qualifying scores. We were afraid of that. She is behind in all areas, but not enough to qualify for services at this time. The psychologist had one more score to collect and she called me back the next day. That day we learned that she had just qualified in the area of occupational therapy (OT - fine motor skills). I wasn't surprised. This is one area she had not been fully evaluated on with EI and I always have trouble keeping her interested in things like coloring. With the score she received she also needed to qualify in another area to attend the preschool. The psychologist made a "professional judgement" to allow her to attend based on the area of social skills, since Morgan did seem to be challenged in this area. She said that she does this only once or twice a year with a child that doesn't have all the qualifying scores, yet somehow seems like they would benefit from the preschool. This is what they call a "developmental preschool." There are kids there with various developmental issues that need early assistance and therapy so they are ready for Kindergarten when they are older.

I was very grateful that they were able to make an exception for Morgan. It is easy for kids like Morgan to fall through the cracks in the system. I think the developmental preschool will especially help her in the social area. She will still attend her "regular" preschool on Mondays, but will attend the developmental one Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. It is a lot of school, but I think having the teachers and therapists there will help make sure she is getting the extra assistance she needs.

There may also be an option of her attending a program called AIM early next year. It is the Alternative Instruction Model. It is a program for autistic kids. Currently they have lower-functioning students in there now, but there may be kids more at Morgan's level starting early next year. We still do not have an official diagnosis of autism for Morgan, but the school psychologist confirmed that she thought this was a strong possibility. We are scheduled for the official evaluation with the other child psychologist next week. I'm nervous about it, but ready to know what we are really dealing with so we can tackle it head-on.

So, for the report on school this week, Morgan is doing well. It was a long week and two of the four mornings I had to wake her up she said "no school!" Once she was there she did great through. They did say she seemed kind of out of it today, but she really was pretty tired after such a busy week. She'll adjust to the schedule. Since they go by the school schedule we have one more week until Christmas break, then she'll be back in school the week of January 3rd. I spoke with the OT about her first session today and she said she did great! They think she's really going to "take off" with it. I was really excited to hear this. I also got some tips on things we can work with her at home.

Since Morgan did not qualify for speech therapy with the disctrict I'm thinking of continuing with some private therapy after the holidays are over. Her teacher is really impressed with her language skills, but I think it is compared to the other kids in her class. She is still quite behind typically developing kids.

Thanks for sticking with my long post, but this should catch you all up on Morgan's progress. Overall we are so proud of her for the progress she's made. Despite her struggles, she is such an awesome little personality. We just want the best for her.


dulongfamily said...

Glad to hear Morgan is getting everything she needs. You are an amazing mom and a strong person to be such an advocate for her.

Berri said...

Thanks so much for the update.