The Daughter Chronicles

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Mia's school daze meeting

Lots going on this week. I was going to do one long post, but I decided to break it down. So today and tomorrow may be busy. Check back often!

Okay, Monday. I drove out to far East Mesa for her Multidisciplinary Evaluation Teem meeting and Individualized Education Plan meeting (otherwise known as MET and IEP). All her assessors were there, and they laid out a plan to edu-macate my daughter. It turns out that they use the Battelle test, which neither her speech therapist or physical therapist likes all that much. The test measures a child's cognitive, communication, adaptive, and motor skills and assigns a raw score to each of them. The average is 100, with most "normal" kids falling in the 85-115 range. 56-84 is moderately delayed, and under 55 is severely delayed. Interestingly enough, Mia only scored lower than 55 (a 54, actually) in the communication section. The school PT was rather surprised at this, and pointed out that she's three (well, she will be in August) and she can't walk yet. In motor skills, she was only moderately (62) delayed. They attributed this to the fact that her right side works fine, and therefore brought her raw scores up enough to offset the fact that she can't walk. In personal-social skills, she got a 77, because she's a friendly little girl.

So she qualifies for the program, which we knew she would. She starts school in mid-August, and they made up and IEP for her, which includes goals like using an open cup, using crayons appropriately (i.e., not sticking them in her mouth), sitting in a chair without support, walking with an assistive device, imitating sounds - the usual. I have the name of her teacher, but I don't know if there will be any classroom aides - I can't imagine there won't be, I just don't know yet. We're still debating on whether she's going to take the bus or not - that depends on her overprotective mother. We'll see - the school isn't that far away, and I can easily drive her.

The nice thing about the class is that it sounds like they cap attendance at 12 (which may change in an instant, I know - believe me, experience has taught me at least one thing), and that she will be in a class with a wide variety of disabled kids. They mentioned that a lot of children they get can walk and talk, they just have trouble with articulation. If she has kids like that, I will be happy, because I think they will challenge her to raise her game a little. I don't want her in a class with kids who are worse off than she is exclusively, because she won't be inspired. It sounds like they have a good mix, but you can be sure that I will be a Nosy Parker (as my mom would say) and check it out. Her teachers are going to hate me, because I'm going to be around a lot (as a teacher, I would have loved parents like that, so I hope they do too - you never know if the teachers will like that or not).

It was a pretty successful meeting. They didn't make any assessments that I disagreed with or thought were off by a wide margin, and in some things, I think they might have overestimated her, which I don't mind. She's working with her AugCom device and her gait trainer, so we're hoping by August she'll be even further along than she is now.

More later - it's our trip to the pediatrician with two (2) young kids and a tardy doctor!


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