Crew had an appointment today with the speech therapist and OT at the school district. In just over a month he turns 3. When these little guys turn three they transition from the Early Intervention program to the School District. The EI team has been awesome. They are like family. They care about my son and will bend over backwards or jump through hoops to get him what he needs. The services with EI are incredible. Rumor has it that the School District isn't very impressive and I've been trying to ignore the fact that we eventually have to face this transition.
When I first entered the room I noticed right off that my child was the only one with obvious disabilities. The moms looked at me with that, "Oh, and I thought my child had problems" look. I sat down to fill out the mountains of paperwork and one of the workers could see me juggling with an active thrashing kid and an oversized clipboard. She came over and took Crew from me. She sat on the floor and played with him. I was happy to see that she was so willing to get to know him.
The OT called us back to the room. She put Crew in his walker and helped him down the hall. Once we were situated in the room and she started working with Crew, I mentioned that we needed to convince the school that PT was needed. Immediately, I sensed her distaste for me. See, in our school district they don't have a PT. If there is a need they are required, by law, to get one. At our previous meeting I was told that if the OT felt there was a need for PT then the district would contract it out.
The OT kept saying things like... "this isn't Early Intervention", and "we don't call it therapy", and "we work as a team". What is that! She said that PT wasn't guaranteed unless there was a need. I said, "Well isn't that obvious". She commented that school isn't the place for "therapy" and that their focus is academics and asked why he wouldn't be able to get his PT through outpatient therapy. I explained that it can be a financial burden to take a child to outpatient therapy 2X a week. She said, "Well, we can't provide therapy for him just because you can't afford it". HELLO!
I explained that it's proven that if a childs motor development is improved then his cognitive abilities tend to improve as well. She agreed. However, I felt she had an abrasive personality or a chip on her shoulder. I was in no way prepared to deal with this woman. As I watched her interact with Crew I realized how helpless he is and how disabled he is. At home I get use to our routine and I focus on what he CAN do but in that environment today I saw an oversized baby. It makes me sad.
The final IEP will be in January. During the IEP, we (I mean they) will decide what services Crew will recieve, what days he will go to preschool, and what class he will attend. Until then I'm going to keep on loving our EI team.