The month of February was busy for us. We had Juliana's transition meeting out of Early Intervention (the services stop when she turns 3) and she began being tested for Early Childhood special education services in our school district. Ryan and I took turns taking half days off of work to bring her in for testing. Juliana was a little trooper, especially because the testing always took place during nap time. She usually melted down at the end of the 2 hour testing, but who could blame her?
This past Tuesday, Ryan and I attended her meeting where first they revealed the results of her testing and then wrote her IEP. I have been to many of these meetings at the high school level, as the general ed teacher, but never as the parent. It was a bit overwhelming when they walked us back to the conference room and everyone introduced themselves. We had the speech pathologist, the occupational therapist, the physical therapist, the social worker, the regular ed teacher, the school nurse, and everyone had a laptop out.
Ryan and I had been pretty sure that Juli would qualify for speech therapy, just because she definitely is behind in that area, but we were unsure about the other areas. As each person read off their findings, I was reminded of the same feeling I felt in Juli's first EI meeting- overwhelmed. Juli qualified. She qualified for speech, occupational, and physical therapy. Part of me is disappointed, because I had hoped that by doing Early Intervention we would have her caught up by the time she was 3, but I am happy that she will be getting the help that she needs.
After everyone agreed she qualified, then they had to go over her goals for her IEP. Each therapist had 2 goals for her, that were broken down into more detailed skills. Some of them require Juli to follow directions, some of them require Juli to be able to avoid obstacles and go over obstacles without falling, some of them are for behavior, some of them are related directly to talking, and some of them are going to help her build up her strength. Because she is small, she is also going to require a special chair in the classroom for safety issues (we will see how that goes, because she likes to sit like everyone else). They also put in her IEP for her to have someone near her (an adult) on the playground or in the gym because she does fall a lot since that is a safety issue.
And then another bombshell was dropped. Juli will be starting as soon as she turns 3. Even though there will only be 3 weeks left in the current school year, she will still start preschool and will go 5 days a week. Oh, and she will be taking the bus to and from school. My baby girl will be on the bus! Noah is a little jealous of that part, because he doesn't get to take the bus to his preschool and he will be a walker to Kindergarten in the fall.
I know this is good for Juliana and this is what she needs to get caught up. I know that these teachers are awesome and the therapists are great as well. It's just overwhelming to think that in just over a month, my baby girl will be taking a bus to preschool. Even though we have had so many struggles with her, time has gone by all too quickly.