Thursday, January 3, 2008


Our options for next year are as follows (these all assume that private AV therapy and feeding therapy continue):

  1. standard special ed preschool in county with related services (probably NOT speech, specifically O&M)

  2. "special" special ed preschool in another county focusing on blind/visually impaired students with related services (probably not speech)

  3. private auditory oral preschool in another county with related services in county (specifically O&M)

  4. private Christian preschool in another county through the school where DH works (and I used to) with related services in or out of county(specifically O&M)

  5. private Christian preschool in another county through our church with related services in or out of county (specifically O&M)

  6. Noah stays home with me with related services in county (specifically O&M)

  7. We move away, join the circus, or go into hiding

Note: options 2, 3, 4, & 5 are all in different counties (all about 45 minutes away except option 3 which is just over an hour away).

The issues: Noah is more or less age appropriate for speech, congnitive abilities and social skills, but is delayed in gross & (some) fine motor and self-help skills. He also needs O&M to help him learn to navigate new environments. The county we live in has never worked with a child with a CI and currently has no hearing impaired children at the preschool/elementary level. They have had a lot of turnover the last few years and than concerns me. The private preschool that I want to send him to requires the 3 year olds to be completely independent with potty training (including getting dressed/undressed).

I think right now I'm leaning towards options 2, 4, or 6, although some days option 7 seems pretty appealing. Less than 2 weeks until our final IFSP - I'd better narrow down my choices...


Hetha said...

Good luck! We're starting this process and will be visiting preschools later in the month. It sounds like you have a decent set of options, but I'd be very intimidated if I had to get Ethan potty trained that soon. Yikes.

abby said...

Can Noah get speech outside of school? Then I think I'd favor options 2 and 4. Only reason not 6 is that it would be nice for him to be around other kids and learn not only how to negotiate a physical environment but also a social environment.

Time really does fly, doesn't it? Hallie is more than half way towards aging out of Birth-3, which has us nervous enough. On the one hand, I want all of our kids to be able to function 'typically', but on the other hand--and increasingly more and more, which speaks to your last post about the White cane--I just want them to get the help that they need and deserve.

Emily said...

Noah definitely could get speech with any of the options - we just don't want it. Noah gets Auditory Verbal therapy, which is kind of like speech (focuses more on listening, though). Because he's deaf he automatically qualifies for speech, but he's not speech delayed and doesn't have articulation issues. I haven't heard good things about the speech program in our county so we're thinking we'll just turn down that service. We thought about moving, but our county has the best vision teacher around, and that's what he really needs right now. I worry about the social aspect of #6 too, but if another year at home can get his eating more on track then I think it would be worth it (plus next year he's old enough for kids activities - not just nursery - at church so he'd be getting a few hours a week of preschool like activities).

Billie said...

We chose option 6 this year, and I think it was the best choice for us. It was also nice to delay having to make this HUGE decision! Except that now, I really need to get my butt in gear and start doing my research!

FWIW, Eden's AV therapist and the CI program she went to were pretty opposed to option #3. They really stressed that she should be around kids with normally developing speech and language.

Of course, I know that opinions vary depending on who ask, and I know you are doing the best research you can:)

Hetha said...

Emily, could you email me so I could have your email address please? I have something I'd very much like to send you.


Kellie said... about choices! Well, from our personal experience...

Carson has been in the city school district special ed preschool program for two years now. They have a peer based program with 8 special needs children and 4 *typical* children per classroom. Carson gets all of his therapy there, rides the bus, plus has the social interaction appropriate for his age. He rides the bus and goes 4 half days a week.

Eli started this fall in our county's MR/DD preschool program. It is fantastic and I wish Carson could have benefitted from all of the wonderful therapy and professionals that Eli has access to. He goes 3 (half) days a week and does not have typical peers in his classroom. They also have nursing and a dentist on site at all times during school. The therapy and assessment availible to him are far better than what Carson receives in the city program and Eli is thriving. They even take the children swimming and do hippotherapy with them. Field trips are the norm and the school has so many different therapy areas with everything imaginable. The kids interact in appropriate ways for their age groups and Eli even gets feeding therapy at school!

I would strongly recommend going to each program with Noah (if possible) and seeing the types of activities they have availible, therapies he can participate in, classroom set-up, and if you are able to come during classroom hours to visit. We are encouraged to come to Eli's school whenever we want but discouraged to come to Carson's school (they say it disrupts their routine). I think the environment you feel most comfortable with and that Noah has the best typical social and educational setting will work the best. We have the benefit of both children getting bused to and from school so transportation isn't an issue but I don't know if your options have that availible to you.

Anyway...Noah is an amazing kiddo and I'm sure he will do fantastic in any one of the choices you pick (although #7 might be the most fun!). We have our final IFSP coming up on Tuesday too and I can't believe it is that time already...they are getting too big!

jwgmom said...

The private preschool must make "reasonable accomodations", like it or not. Only you can decide if it is worth the battle,but it is an option.