And speaking of Easter Seals, Clare had her evaluation today. Jessica (her occupational therapist), Kelly (her physical therapist), and Bonnie (an educator) came to evaluate Clare. Clare was delighted to see both Jessica and Kelly at the same time and eagerly played with the toys they pulled out for them. It was so cute to watch Clare listen to the directions and try to follow what the ladies wanted her to do. It hit me how much Clare has grown since her evaluation last year.
Clare fared much better than I expected. Shawn and I were delighted to hear that on many levels, Clare is performing at the appropriate age level. She has so many amazing skills. Her cognitive, emotional, fine motor, and receptive language skills are right where they should be. Her speech is slightly delayed, which we know, but not so delayed that they feel Clare needs speech therapy at this point. We know that Clare is very delayed in her gross motor skills, but it was still hard to hear that she is at the level of a 10-month old when it came to gross motor.
The big kicker at the evaluation was Jessica's announcement that she is leaving Easter Seals. Jess has been Clare's OT since she was four months old. Clare loves Jessica. During the evaluation today, she frequently wanted to sit in Jessica's lap and snuggle (Clare often does this during her OT sessions as well). They have such a great bond, and Clare's fine motor skills have far surpassed what we expected her to be able to do by this age. (In some areas, she has the abilities of a child 4-6 months older than she is.) We are so sad to see Jess go (but we understand why - she has good reasons). Currently, Clare has OT every week and PT every other week. Since Clare's fine motor skills are progressing nicely, Clare is going to start having PT every week and OT every other week until August. Jessica leaves at the end of August, at which time, Clare will stop receiving OT and simply continue with weekly PT.
All in all, we were pleased with Clare's evaluation. We talked briefly about the transition to preschool. All agreed that Clare would benefit most being in a preschool that includes typically-developing children as well. Since Clare enjoys being with other children and mimics peer behavior, it would be a disservice to her to place her in a classroom where the majority of the children are behind her developmentally. Our city has many developmental preschool options, so we are sure to find a great fit for Clare. This evaluation is the first step in Clare's transition process, and I think it was a positive step.