Walking a Fine Line

A comment that I got last week was, "Why do you spend so much time talking about Jay's education, and not Ems?" Part of the reason is that with Jay, I felt like I had so many choices with him and what his education could look like, but with Em, it mostly feels like I don't have a single choice, and I'm expected to send her down this one single track, and cross my fingers and hope that it all works out. 

Starting on her third birthday, it is the plan that Em will attend the special needs preschool at our local public school. Because she has been receiving early intervention therapy services through the county, it kind of just propels her into the to program at the school the second she turns three. At first I had a really hard time with this because the thought of sending my baby to preschool everyday from 7am-noon seemed so unnecessary. That, and I'd heard some special needs classroom horror stories and thought that she would just be a body in a room sitting in front of the TV all day, that seemed unappealing to me for many reasons. 

But then someone told me that I need to think of what's best for Em when she's 25, and not what's best for her when she's 3, and it made complete since that I need to do for Em whatever will help to make her a more successful adult, and right now, that means the special needs preschool. I was talking to some people from her school and when they told me about the theme based curriculum that they use, and that Em's preschool experience would be a lot like any other preschool, just more geared with aids and such to assist, it made me a lot more comfortable about sending her. That and I realized that she would be getting six hours of therapy at school a week, (divided evenly between speech, pt, and ot), and when you compare that to the one hour a week she's getting right now, it seems like she'll be able to progress in many areas rather quickly. 

There is only one small problem that has me a little on edge right now. You only qualify for the program if you have a speech deficit, and right now, speech is Em's number one thing that she has going for her. We have to keep her speech delayed enough for the evaluation that happens on July 12th, and if they decide that there isn't enough of a delay in speech, then she looses out on the entire preschool, and all the other therapies she would have gotten. So as you can imagine, when she started singing, "Jesus wants me for a sunbeam..." in the car this weekend I was both proud, and simultaneously telling her to stop talking! Her speech still isn't perfect though, and she does use several different grunts to communicate needs to Derek and I, which we both understand and know what she needs, but the preschool says those are issues they're looking to correct. So the fine line right now is making sure that her speech is delayed enough to qualify for other services at the preschool, and hoping that it doesn't take off too much too fast before her evaluation in a few weeks. There is the blessing that she basically hates al strangers, so chances are she'll scream through the entire evaluation and then get a fast pass to preschool. 

1 comment

  1. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and process on Em's needs. It's so good to do the research behind programs and know what they can offer and can't offer. Thanks for being vulnerable here Paige! Wishing Em the best on her evaluation!

    M Loves M