Sunday, March 09, 2008

In the Thick Of It

We are now in the thick of Clare's transition from Early Intervention to preschool. Last week, we had Clare's eligibility meeting. Basically, Shawn and I (accompanied by Clare and Simon - lucky Jamie had a playdate) sat at a table with Clare's current OT and PT from Easter Seals, and the team from the school department - the assistant coordinator, school nurse, speech therapist, and special educator. After the coordinator explained they were coding Clare as "other health impaired," the eight of us signed a piece of paper and circled the word "yes" stating we believed that Clare was "other health impaired" and qualified for the developmental preschool. Then we signed more papers agreeing with that decision, then signed more papers stating we agreed with the papers we just signed agreeing with the decision. Love all the paperwork!

So now Clare is officially eligible for preschool. The next thing we discussed was equipment that Clare would need for preschool. This way, if anything needs to be ordered, they will have it in time for Clare's first day. The first thing the school nurse brought up was a defibrillator. I admit that surprised me. Having an AED in Clare's school is something that Shawn and I have discussed and both agree we are going to push for. But I did not expect one of the team members would mention it first. I was equally surprised to find out that the none of the preschools have an AED. The nurse explained it was not mandatory unless the school had an organized sports team. (What - no preschool volleyball or field hockey??) I am pretty sure Clare is not the first child to go to one of these schools with a heart condition, so I have a hard time believing she is the first child to require an AED. I could not get a feel whether the AED requirement is going to be a battle or not. The other pieces of equipment discussed were things like a chair with sides, a toilet seat with handles, no stairs in her everyday environment, that kind of stuff.

Our next step is the IEP meeting this week. We have our childcare all lined up for all three children so that Shawn and I can concentrate on writing the IEP with no distractions. Unfortunately, Jamie is getting over the flu, Clare currently has the flu and sleeping soundly in the middle of the day as I type, and we are praying that neither Simon nor us come down with the flu. I have a feeling, though, that I will not be participating in the IEP meeting.

7 comments:

Julie said...

All of the IEP stuff sounds so complicated. I hope you guys feel better soon.

Christina said...

I know this is an "If" to an "If," but I will personally help to organize some sort of AED fund-raiser should the need arise for it! Maybe we can buy it from Shawn. :)

Penny said...

AED's are not that expensive. You also have to make sure that there are numerous people trained to use them. We just purchased 3 for my office building and got multiple people trained on the usage. Perhaps you could talk to the local chapter of the American Heart Association about donating one or initiate a fund-raiser for the school to purchase one.

Michelle, Tim, Aidan & Ari said...

Good Luck with the IEP...I remember Ari's first IEP I was such a spaz for about a week before and it went really smoothly. I think the school will end up getting the AED...God forbid she needed it and they didn't have it....talk about bad press...it's a sad reason why they should get it but the most likely one....
Try your best to be there for the meeting even if you don't feel well...it's just so important.

Aunt Joan said...

It sounds like Miss Clare is on her way! To preschool, no less. I am so pleased that it is offered for children who may need an extra push before the "real" stuff begins. Good luck with the meeting, and I will pray you and Simon stay well. Love to all, Aunt Joan

Every minute counts.... said...

I hope that you end up staying well and get to go to the IEP meeting. I also hope everyone else starts feeling better.
I made our school get an AED and also made sure that EVERYONE who was going to teach Abi was CPR certified ( they then decieded that maybe all of the district teachers should be CPR certified )and could use the AED....of course Abi still has not made it to school...but at least they did it. I really don't think you should have such a big problem with that. That was the one thing I didn't have to fight too hard for!

Noel

Amy said...

Sounds like so far so good, gosh how many days til the BIG DAY? Clare is going to love school! Mommy not so much much on the first day, I think):
xoxo