Monday, May 19, 2008

Big meeting, big stress and now BIG RELIEF!!

If I could turn cartwheels without breaking a bone or cracking my skull open, I would right about now. The meeting with the school district went better than we could possibly've hoped for and WHEW is that a relief! Not only did the district approve all the services the kiddo's team had requested for the summer (Hubby and I being members of that team, of course), but they approved an even greater level of services than we had initially requested following our discussion. !!! Instead of twice-weekly OT, she will start out with having OT three times a week and will continue with PT twice a week. She also will have a CCA for at least the first 10 weeks of school to assist with any sensory needs she may have outside of her scheduled OT sessions. This CCA will be trained as needed by the OT in order to be able to recognize and provide appropriate sensory input as the kiddo requires it during the day. After 10 weeks, we are going to meet again for a review and if things need to be adjusted one way or the other, we can do so at that time. (Of course if there is an obvious need to adjust things sooner, we can do that too.) The kiddo will be in a regular classroom, as academically and intellectually she is not behind - if anything, she's advanced for her age. I'd been concerned that the school would want to put her in a more restrictive, less academically challenging classroom because of her special needs, but even the principal (who attended the meeting, I think in part because of the conversation I had with her last week) agreed that that setting would not be the most beneficial placement for the kiddo. I'm so, so glad that the school district and the principal heard what we were saying - that the kiddo is very bright and the only thing affecting her is the SPD.

Speaking of SPD, the school district did officially classify her today as a Student with a Disability - Other Health Impaired, which is sort of the catch-all of the 13 different categories of disabilities. (For example, kids with ADD/ADHD also fall in this category.) Considering the challenges I've heard that some other parents face in getting their children with SPD classified so they can receive services, I am breathing a doubly large sigh of relief that our school district classified her without any issues. Since SPD isn't yet recognized in the DSM-IV (though there is a movement, complete with petition, to have it included in the DSM-V which is due to be published in 2012), some parents have had to try and "back-door" their kids into the system in order to get the services they need by getting them diagnosed with some other label (PDD-NOS is a common one) that "counts" because it is already in the DSM, and then they can get the required help for the SPD under that other label. Thank goodness we didn't have to fight that battle!

So, all in all, a great outcome to the meeting today. Woo-hoo! Hopefully these services will ensure that the kiddo has a happy and successful kindergarten year. Rest assured that I'll be watching very closely to make sure that all services are delivered and are sufficient....

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