I wanted to share a little bit about what has been going on with Paige and her time with our state's Early Intervention program. Well, she's almost done! You see, when the child enrolled in the program turns 3, the services end. Her birthday is on the 28th of this month, so her time is coming to a close! Services do abruptly end, but the law makes it so that the kids can get continued care through their own town's public school system. Our town has a wonderful integrated public preschool where there are a mix of typically developing kids, and kids with developmental delays of one kind or another. Paige was evaluated by their wonderful special education team to see if she qualified for their services. It was an hour long assessment with little tests and games they did with her, and they observed her at her Friday playgroup time at daycare. Much to our relief, she qualified!
I was excited to see she scored above average in her pre-academic skills, and the high end of average for her speech and self-help skills. They did find that she still needs a lot of help in the social skills area and a bit in her motor planning. So, she will go to preschool 4 mornings per week (half-days). 2 of the days will have the full class of kids, and 2 of the days will be a small group of kids who are working on specific skills. Yay! She'll also get a session of Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy each week. To top it off, they included the summer session in her plan so that she doesn't regress in any skills during what would be a long time off. Another nice thing for us is that we don't have to pay for this as it is provided by the town when the child qualifies. We are so lucky to be in a town that has a lot of support for special education. There are many towns that aren't as equipped, and children who need services to help them succeed can't get them due to red tape and other various financial reasons. They are also providing bus service, so Paige will get to go to school and come home on her own! She's excited for the adventure of it all.
At first, I was feeling a bit sad about all this. I always pictured that my child would start her first day of school when she was 5 and going off to kindergarten. I want her to stay home with me and be my baby for longer! Most of you reading this know what we went through to bring her into our lives! But, I need to remember to do what is best for her and set her up for success. That means putting my own selfish feelings aside for the good of her future. Now, I'm feeling thrilled about the chance she is getting! She will be getting direct one-on-one instruction in her small groups to learn how to play appropriately, share, introduce herself, have conversations, etc. She's going to be set up to make friends, have fun, and enjoy her days ahead. That makes me feel good.
So, when her 3rd birthday hits us soon, she must say goodbye to all the wonderful people (6 different people to be exact) who have helped her get caught up in her skills for the past year and a half. It makes me teary to think about. She has come to love these people, and they will just stop coming. But, she has a new adventure ahead with her new teacher (Ms. Anne) and I know she'll be just fine. Now I just need someone to console ME about all these changes!