Thursday, April 21, 2011

IEP, Milestones and Moments

It's been on my to do list for about two months now to write another blog post...  sometimes the busier we are, the more there is to write about, but the less time there is to do the writing.

Taylor continues to progress very well.  Just in the past week, she ordered her own Sprite when we were at a restaurant.  My phone was in my purse between the two of us at the restaurant.  When it rang, she heard it first and said "Mommy's phone."  We had a mapping recently and she was able to detect sound down to 5 dB.  It was a sound I barely was able to detect.  Absolutely amazing!

So that brings me to the current challenge - Taylor is six weeks away from turning 3, so we are going through the IEP process with the local school district.  Derek has gone to a local church preschool for the past year.  He is currently 4, so still has one more year of preschool.  We considered sending her to the preschool that he has been attending.  Our local school district has a preschool for special needs children that starts at age 3.  We observed those two classrooms and tried to get a feel for what it was like and how they compare.  We feel that the school district's preschool is going to be the best place for Taylor.  There is a special ed teacher plus multiple para's, which gets the adult to student ratio down to 1:4.  In the church preschool, there is one teacher for 12 students.  The school's program allows us access to the speech pathologist, audiologist, deaf educator, and it is also in the same building and on the same schedule as the class that Derek can attend.  

But what do we put on the IEP?  She hears within normal levels... even in restaurants or other loud settings, we see her respond to sounds at least as well as we do (if not better).  So she's technically deaf, but hears very well and doesn't need to read lips or have an FM system.  Her language comprehension is on track and age-appropriate.  Her expressive language is age-appropriate as well, and her articulation continues to improve.  Any advice from other parents would be great!

Tonight, she said to me "I'm ready to go watch a movie."  All of those words!  What a sentence.  We've been trying to encourage her to get the "little" words in there, such as to, a, on, the, etc.  We have been working with her on past tense and prepositions.  She gets it, but unfortunately she has to speak the English language, which means the rules don't always apply.  For example, she said "I find-ed it!"  I'm excited that she made it past tense, but now have to correct her with "You found it!"  :)  

We have taken a couple family trips since the last blog post.  On our ski trip, we tried to get Taylor to ski, and asked her if she wanted to be a "ski bunny".  She replied that she wanted to see the bunny ski.  Silly us!  She wears a dress or skirt almost every day -- we had to force her to wear sweats or jeans there.    Derek is usually a little more reserved than Taylor, but we were able to get him on the slopes all 3 days.  What a good sport!

We went to Orlando last week for our early summer vacation, since we have baby #3 on the way.  Taylor swam like a fish, but got a little too comfortable having her ears off.  She can now tell us whatever she needs to -- like "I want a drink"... "not that drink"...  "apple juice"... and "I need a towel!"  Why would she need to hear us say things like "don't jump in from there!" and "it's time to come inside"?  We sign minimally and I used it as much as I could for the times that she was in the pool.  It made me wish I knew more signing, but I was also impressed that she could read my lips (and expressions) quite well.  It felt a little like charades at times.  We are a family that likes to swim and boat a lot.  I realize that I am going to have to improve our family's signing in order to make those times a little more enjoyable (for the parents...  I think Taylor loved not having to listen to us for a while!)

Magic Kingdom carousel

Magic Kingdom

Downtown Disney