Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Apraxia again

Our school district offers two options for kids with IEPs during the summer. One is ESY- extended school year aka "summer school." Classes are smaller and, unlike during the school year, are made up of only children with IEPs. Children are selected by their teachers to attend and typically only go if their needs are severe enough that they need intensive help to maintain progress they have made during the school year. George went last year and Cole is going this year.

If your kid has an IEP but doesn't need intensive summer services, they will receive itinerant, ("out patient") services. For George, this is once a week and his SLP worked so that he received his speech right before Cole was due to get out of school. I arrive 30 minutes early, George has speech and then I pick up both boys. Easy!

After speech last week, the SLP (who has both Cole and George during the school year)  made a comment about revising George's IEP in the fall. I seized the moment to chat with her about both boys.

The good news: George is making great progress and IFIFIF we've managed to avoid most of the reading and writing problems common with apraxic children, he may have his IEP dismissed as early as 9 or ten years old. Great! She also gave me a little preview of the ECSpEd preschool transition to kindergarten, which we will be experiencing this year. Glup! She also agrees that full day kindergarten will be the best option for him, as the day will be less crammed and he will not miss academic or fun (recess, etc) time to receive services. I also want him on the elementary school's OT radar.

The mildly bad: I have never done full day school for a kindy kid. Do I think he will be ready? Yes. Am I worried about his adjustment? A little because it is a big transition but the school knows us and will work with us. But full time kindy here is optional and you pay for the privilege. Does the district pay for this for kids with special needs? NOPE.

The mildly bad, part two: I asked about Cole. She also thinks he is apraxic but mild and it won't take him as long to catch up. Our private SLP concurs. Sigh. Kids with CAS need frequent and intense speech therapy.  Does insurance pay for this? Nope! I wonder if we can get a sibling discount, especially since I want George in the picky eaters feeding therapy group. Ha!
It's not that Cole doesn't talk. He does- at home. His problem is that his language deteriorates over the course of testing or a conversation. He doesn't talk much to other people. I don't think this is totally an anxiety issue; he likely has SOME but not as severe as George. I think this is going to be a theme- he's like George but not severe. I hate comparing the boys but there you are.

I talked to Adam about beginning speech for Cole in September. He wants to wait until after the first conferences to see how he is doing full time, in a place where he is comfortable. He went to school for three months and was just getting comfortable when the year ended. We're hoping he will make MORE progress in the fall and, not being severe, avoid the need for services outside of school. Do I think we will get away with this? NOPE, which is why I am beginning the hunt of speech grants/scholarships/free money. (Who wants to buy a bag?)

All this, though, means there are going to be some BIG changes around here. Guess who's going back to work in 12-24 months? Sigh.

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