I am sooo behind on blogging -- much to report on, and almost three months' worth of calendars to put up -- but here's a little something to tide us over. (Call it a "splash and dash" -- an unfortunately dated reference to Formula One racing, now that they no longer allow refueling.)
Our week in Cape Cod was blissful. The weather was perfect, Ben adapted beautifully to the surroundings and the new experiences, and we all had a great time. I even acquired a modest tan, which those who have seen me will realize is a significant accomplishment -- pigmentation is not my forte. Ben takes after his father in that regard, and within a couple of days he was sporting a tan line at the top of his swim trunks that the Coppertone baby would envy. And this despite the fact that we kept him (and ourselves) positively dripping with very strong sunscreen the entire time. We maintained the policy of taking all hearing equipment off when Ben actually went in the water, and this went so much better than I feared (and much better than our few experiences last summer). We always talked to him ahead of time about what we were going to do, what it would be like, what our expectations were, and reminded him of a few key signs. And he was cool with it. He responded well to our attempts to sign with him, and that was a lot more effective than I would have predicted. (I'm increasingly convinced that we're taking exactly the right approach with him -- he's entirely oral, and he talks nonstop even when his equipment is off, but we're also teaching him ASL on the side, and there have been many occasions where that has turned out to be very useful.)
And this morning we had our CPSE meeting. It sounds so simple when I say it like that, but man, what an ordeal. It actually went very smoothly and ultimately we got everything that we wanted, but I'm glad that we put so much time in advance into preparing for it. There is a lot of variation in how the IDEA is enforced. Some districts take the approach that if a child has a qualifying disability, he is automatically entitled to an IEP. Not ours. (In their defence, the IDEA does specifically say that a child must have both a qualifying disability and a demonstrable need for special education.) Our special ed director usually requires that a child be two standard deviations below grade level (or 1.5 standard deviations in two areas), and she made it clear that she had never before considered a child for special ed who tested as high as Ben does. She described it as a very unusual case, and she wanted a rationale from several parties as to why he was entitled. But a good rationale was duly produced, and after a little agonizing, it was agreed that he would get an IEP and that he would be placed in the Youngerman Clinic integrated preschool as an identified child, with continuing SLP services -- exactly what we wanted. (The fact that his best bud Jackson will also be in that preschool as a typical child had, of course, no bearing on the desirability of the placement!)
So, whooosh -- strike another major item off my summer To-Do list!!! (Only 50,000 more to go....)
"I Cannot Even Smile Here"
4 weeks ago