School starts next week for us (thank you!). Last night was our open house and the children got to meet their new teachers prospectively. Of course new situations don’t come without a few bumps we must maneuver around along the way. On is named Ms. Pérez, who happens not to be Diva’s kindergarten teacher for the entire year. For half of the school year, Ms. Pérez will be the teacher subbing for Diva’s real teacher who is on maternity leave until Christmas. However, at this point I feel that is the least of Diva’s worries.
Up until this point Diva as not been in a public school education or qualified for IEP to obtain admittance to a special needs preschool. She has been tested twice and told, even though she was mute during both testing periods, that would not impact her education and she still passed all the tests. Her passing the tests was remarkable to me since they reported she didn’t say one word, does not know how to spell, read or write. So here we are a year later in a new state and a new school district. Seeing Diva in a preschool setting I feel she will not qualify for a IEP, however, I feel there are certain accommodation. So how do we get those accommodations for her if she has no IEP to write them in? Say ello to my ittle friend… the 504 Plan.
I have been looking for the Dummies Guide to IEP’s and 504’s and found one today. Who can say “awesome sauce”!? Just say thank you to Samantha over at Military Special Needs Network provided us with a great explanation of the difference between an IEP and a 504 plan.
We, as parents of children with special needs, boarded this roller coaster of emotion sometime back, assumed at one point we could get off. Ok, maybe I am the only parent who thought this and now reality has adjusted my once jaded view, but I am getting tired of these hills and valleys we ride. And I am not talking in reference to my children. I am talking about what we all must do to provide them with the treatments they might need.
So prepare yourself this coming July 25th when Tricare once again throws another 360 loop onto our rails.
In an article published June 18, “Tricare is consolidating its disparate autism therapy programs into one Autism Care Demonstration Project for children of active-duty, retired and reserve component personnel starting July 25.”
So there you have it folks. Make sure that seat belt are tightened and all arms and legs remain inside the cart at all times. Although it appears for now the ride won’t get much more bumpier; it’s never smooth sailing.
In our quest to help our children learn how to do “normal” things, reach age-appropriate goals and milestones, it can get overwhelming. Sometimes in that frantic push it can be easy to forget that sometimes we should just let them be. Be themselves. Be unique. That it’s okay to be different. Sometimes it’s even better. This quote sums that up beautifully.
If you didn’t know, we are in the middle of a pcs (military acronym for moving to a new duty station). Due to the fact we have moved away from our last duty station and therapists and haven’t yet reached our final destination- we have had no therapy of any kind since the start of May. The lack of therapy is starting to show on our kids. The lack of routine and assistance has become an issue. A issue we can not fix until we reach our new duty station. However, no one likes to see their children regress and suffer. To help aid them we have started trying to incorporate their past therapy techniques as we can.
One tip of being on the move with your littles that are missing out on therapy is to talk with your child’s therapist before you move for helpful advice and things you can do on your own to help maintain the levels they have reached.
For example: We talked with Sb’s PT before we moved to see what fun things we can do on the move to help her progression with her coordination. She told us to go to the park and walk her up and down the stairs. She gave us further information on what exactly what to do. But the mere fact we can easily go to a park to do therapy while on vacation or during a move is awesome and more importantly; doable.
Not all therapy is so easily achieved. We don’t stress about what we can’t do and we make sure we do plenty of what we can. In the end everyone is happy. SB and the other spawn get to play and mommy and daddy feel like real parents (Compared to those alien ones that spike horns and carry a sickle when their children misbehave).