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.