We are up to the part where we are at the first school meeting to decide which services my son is eligible for. At this meeting was my husband and I, my son’s teacher, an OT therapist, school psychologist, a board of education consultant and Ms Matera, my former teacher who is the supervisor at another school in the area that specializes in educating and servicing children with special needs… (After the meting we talked, it was so nice to finally meet her face to face. We talked about how I found out about my son during her class. It was very touching.)
Let’s just refresh, at this point in time my son is a little over three years old. He just started his first year of pre kindergarten and has a new diagnosis of autism. They would also call is PDD- pervasive developmental disorder. Anyhow, at this time he is not yet talking and is still in diapers / pull ups. He does not feed himself yet, stims a lot, is attached to things and lines up toys and items. He has meltdowns and all that other stuff. He has had several ear infections which leads to surgery to remove adenoids and place tubes in his ears but we will get to that..
So we are at this meeting, the first PPT meeting and we talked for a while about my son and what he likes to do, what he can actually do and so on. It was decided that he is eligible for speech therapy and occupational therapy but first he would have to go to the board of education center to be assessed and “tested” on certain things like focusing, climbing and walking and what he is able to do with toys. Time passes we attend this assessment and the lady assures of from what she has witnessed that he will be getting speech and occupational therapies at school. He will also be receiving specialized instruction sometimes outside of the regular pre k class.
Time goes on and he starts receiving his therapies ta school, it is still early in the school year but he still takes off his shoes, although not as much as before. We are just waiting on him to talk and become social. Time passes and this means more therapies and schooling and improvement. Jorge starts responding to questions with one or two words. He is also able to play with others and stack some blocks.
He is not yet speaking in sentences, his ears hurt..another ear infection and that is when we take him to the doctor again. His ENT suggested it is time to put the tubes in his ears. He assured us that he would be hearing better and as a result his speech would get better because he would be hearing clearly. So we took him to the hospital that day in March and after a half an hour he was out of surgery. Poor baby in pain. When we got home he laid down for a bit and was ready to go back to school on Monday.
He went back to school without any problem. He was happy to be back. With a couple of weeks, things started changing. Everyone at the school was noticing his hearing was better. His speech therapist commented on the change he was seeing in our son. It was amazing. He had another hearing test and indeed he was hearing better. He was starting to form words. He was putting two words together. He was not just pointing at things and mumbling but now he can at least say a few words. The speech therapist had a year end goal of being able to say his name when asked and asking the teacher for help by name. He would usually say his name was Mrs. Hardy when someone asked him and he would call all boys Michael.
Time passed and he was improving here and there. Summer came about. He was not receiving OT and Speech from the Board of Education during the summer but through our insurance we were taking him to speech therapy at a rehab center twice a week each for a half an hour session. Throughout the summer he would show improvements in speech and hearing. the summer rolled by fast and before we knew it, the second year of pre kindergarten was upon us. He was now 4 years old and ready for school again. He was going to be in the same classroom with the same teachers and therapists. This was great because it was his routine and it did not change. But there were MANY great changes during this school year….
(stay tuned for part 5)
Comments and Questions are always welcome!!! Thank you.