Thursday, February 21, 2013

Big Choices

I feel woefully underprepared for this upcoming educational change for Matthew.  We have a meeting with the school district on Tuesday.  There, we will discuss their evaluation, set Matthew's educational goals, and determine what the best course of action might be for Matthew. 

The options:

5 day a week PPCD (preschool program for children with disabilities).   This will be the program that the school district recommends. It is a 3 hour program, every day, in a self contained classroom with other kids with disabilities. 

2 day a week PPCD.  This would be only two 3 hour days per week, still in the self contained classroom with other kids with disabilities.  This would be a choice we could make in lieu of their recommendations.

Pre-K Speech Only.  This would be an hour a week drop in speech therapy at the school.  Again, this would be a choice we could make in lieu of the school's recommendation.

We originally thought we would go with the 5 day a week program, until we spoke with Matthew's ECI therapists.  On graduation day, I had the opportunity to talk with each one about Matthew's progress and their recommendations for Matthew going forward.  They didn't think that Matthew required 5 day a week PPCD.  Talking it through with them, we came to the conclusion that we could meet Matthew's educational goals by leaving him at his typical preschool full days 3 days a week, doing speech only at the public school and adding private speech, OT, and possibly PT therapies to the mix.  (Very exciting to think about--that he doesn't really need PPCD!)

I called the school district in Austin to which we will likely relocate, to ensure that whatever we choose here, we are not limiting Matthew when we move.  We are much more excited about the PPCD program there, since it is an inclusive environment (meaning typically developing kids and kids with disabilities in the same class) which would be much more beneficial for Matthew.  Their recommendation was to do 2 days a week PPCD, so that he would immediately qualify for the PPCD program there since we were enrolled in it here. 

We have decided against the 5 day a week option.  So, now we waiver back and forth between the 2 day a week option and the speech only option. 

*In the 2 day a week option, Matthew will have more time with the teacher who will be working to implement techniques recommended by the speech and occupational therapists, but he will be in a classroom only with other kids who have disabilities, without exposure to his typically developing peers.
*In the speech only option, I will be able to observe the techniques and implement them at home as well as recommend them to his Monday, Wednesday, Friday preschool. This would be less time in the school setting, but is a similar format to ECI, and one with which we are very comfortable.

Ugh!  I am fretting and fretting.  I am bending every one's ear that I can.  I am tossing and turning and losing sleep thinking about the options.  I am praying and praying that whatever we decide, that it will be the right decision for Matthew. 

I have been a bit crazed and occupied with this decision.  Thankfully, tonight, Matthew calmed my frazzled nerves just a bit.  He crawled up in the chair with me, grabbed my hand, and laced his perfect 4 fingers in mine.  I was reminded in that moment that he is amazing, and that won't change, no matter what choice we make.  

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