Monday, October 5, 2009

The Next, and Last, IFSP

So, the next and last IFSP for Kittyboy is going to be two weeks from today. I don't know why therapists don't get more than two weeks notice, considering the paperwork involved in evals and reports, but there you have it.
As I've mentioned, we anticipate Kittyboy TOTALLY clearing OT. There's nothing going on sensory-wise that we can't handle. And I would have expected him to leave Speech behind as well, except... the older he gets, the higher they raise the bar. He MAY still qualify, because although he's attained two-year-old level verbal language (a stranger could understand probably 50% of what he says), a three-year-old is expected to be understood 75% of the time (again, by a stranger who is unfamiliar with his particular "dialect"). The equation is 25% per year of age. Yes, that does mean that you should be able to understand one hundred percent of what your four-year-old tells you. When Bree told me that this morning, I STARED at her, and then I said I'd known many kindergartners in SCOPE who REALLY, REALLY, REALLY qualified for speech therapy.
I once had a conversation with an absolutely precious five-year-old girl, who was getting anxious because her mommy was running later than normal. I asked her what her mommy's car looked like, and she said it was a "gavudabu". A what? "It's a gavudabu!" And that was the only description I could get. Clearly, that was supposed to tell me something very significant about her mother's vehicle. After some time, the light came on - CONVERTIBLE. "Is her car a convertible?" "Thas wha I said, a gavudabu!" Yup. (Should I ever have a convertible, my license plate will be GAVDBU).
We've got Kittyboy saying "potty" when he needs to go, because "toilet" (though he does say it) sounds like a fourth of his vocabulary. It has to be something we can understand. I guess a lot of his speech we do translate from context - tractor and chocolate, for example, are not much distinguished from each other.
And he'll be three on Christmas, so that's the standard they'll be using. Since what he will say far outranks what even WE actually understand, he may well still need Speech, I don't know. It's not vocab, his vocabulary is GREAT - it's enunciation. (Man, they're picky!) But yeah, I can see where enunciation would be almost as important as vocabulary - can't communicate if you're not understood.
Dilemma - if he still qualifies, it will be the school district which picks up his therapy. Good news, they do have to provide services whether or not he goes, and what they provide will be free - bad news, they do not provide as MUCH to children who aren't attending. A kid in Early Start or Headstart or whatever they call it might get half an hour twice a week - one who's not attending might get half an hour every other week, or even just once a month, in which case, what's the point. We can go to Childrite where he's been going, privately, though insurance would NOT pay for it (we already know this).
Off the top of my head, if he does still qualify, my ideas are as follows -
Discuss by what percentage he still qualifies, and find out how important they think it is that he does continue to receive services. If it's the same small percentage by which he qualified six months ago, then he's just continuing to progress at the same delayed rate, no big deal. If, on the other hand, he qualified by 4% six months ago, and now qualifies by much more because of the higher expectations of being 3 (i.e., he's not maintaining the same learning curve, but instead falling further behind others in his age group), eeehhh, we'll see how much the district WILL do if he doesn't attend preschool, and whether Bree thinks it's enough to be worth it.
IF the delay, relatively speaking, is something that warrants continued therapy, and IF Bree thinks the "out-patient" district services aren't going to be enough, we would have things to think about. One thought being, eeehhh, find out how many hours a day Headstart, Early Start, whatever it is, is, and how flexible they are on attendance, and go from there.
It's all academic though, until the evals are done. I just like to keep in mind, "Okay, worst case scenario, what would we do next?" Something I learned from my dad, WHO, by the way, has a blog now, I highly recommend it.

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