Little M no longer qualifies as a toddler after her fourth birthday, which is coming up next month. I think I might be in denial a little bit, since I have trouble seeing my little M as a little girl and not a toddler. Gah, at this rate she will be headed off to high school next week! Why is she growing up so fast?
Anyways, back to the subject at hand. After little M is no longer in the infants and toddler program, which she receives her therapy through, she will still receive therapy through the school system.
Last week we met with our local school board to determine what our plan would be after little M turns four. This will be her IEP (individualized education program).
She definitely still qualifies for services, since she is still a bit behind, and there are so many great options available to us.
The great new is that she only qualifies for the speech program. She no longer qualifies for occupational! She doesn’t qualify because she is not only caught up, but she is ahead in every area but speech! She can count, knows her shapes, colors, and letters. She not only knows her letters, but can spell and write her name and about five other words! A year ago this girl could count to three well, and five with help, and was struggling to learn her letters. I am so proud of how far she has come!
Since little M is doing so well at her preschool, and is learning language and other skills well, we wanted her to stay there, rather than go to a therapy based preschool. She has friends at school, and LOVES her teachers, so she will continue to go to her preschool. On the days she does not have preschool, she will go to a school based therapy for one hour. It will be a big change for little M…she will change therapists, no longer be at home for therapy, and I will not be with her. The school she will go to is very close to us, and I have heard good things about this new therapist. I am excited to see how this helps little M in her speech, but I am sad that she stills needs this at all. We are grateful to have had such a wonderful speech therapist for the past eighteen months, and I know little M will miss her. She has been so helpful and has invested so much time and effort into helping little M learn and grow.
Part of me really thought we would never make it to the IEP stage. Silly of me, I know, but I was so hopeful that little M would catch up quickly, and by the time she turned four she would, miraculously, no longer require therapy. She still does. Require therapy, that is, and I am learning to let go of my expectations, and be thankful for what we have. We have an IEP. And I am thankful.